Over the last month or so, a male Ring-Necked Pheasant has taken up residence near Peggy’s house in Michigan. He’s been visiting the front porch feeder, enjoying the corn she’s been putting out for him. Haven’t seen a female yet, but maybe they’re just shy. By the way, this is a view through the front porch railing–the snow is piled so high he’s at up almost at eye level!
Because of the timing of his visit, the male Ring-necked Pheasants may be establishing his breeding territory. A male will become the “king” of his territory and exert dominance over any other males who try to intrude in his territory, which may cover several acres. Breeding females, who are rather dull brown in coloring, will gather in small groups in the territory of a single male. The females will nest in the fields or borderland areas and lay a dozen or more eggs. Within a few weeks, the young will head out on their own. Unfortunately, there is a high mortality rate from predators and humans of both the eggs and young birds. Hopefully there’ll be some baby pheasants wandering around Peggy’s yard this spring!
Photos by Peggy