- Pheasants, along with most members of the grouse family, have specialized, powerful breast muscles—the “white meat” that you find on a chicken. These muscles deliver bursts of power that allow the birds to escape trouble in a hurry, flushing nearly vertically into the air and reaching speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour.
- While the birds normally don’t cover more than about 600 feet at a time, strong winds can extend their flights considerably. Observers in 1941 reported seeing a pheasant fly a record four miles while crossing a body of water.
- Male Ring-necked Pheasants may harass other ground-nesting birds, such as the Gray Partridge and the Greater Prairie-Chicken. Female pheasants sometimes lay their own eggs in these birds’ nests. This may explain why some male pheasants have been seen chasing away male prairie-chickens and courting females—the pheasants may have been raised in prairie-chicken nests and imprinted on the wrong species.
- Ring-necked Pheasants sometimes cope with extreme cold by simply remaining dormant for days at a time.
- Pheasants practice "harem-defense polygyny" where one male keeps other males away from a small group of females during the breeding season.
- Clutch Size
- 7–15 eggs
- Number of Broods
- 1-2 broods
- Egg Length
- 1.6–1.9 in
- Egg Width
- 1.3–1.5 in
- Incubation Period
- 23–28 days
- Egg Description
- Olive-brown to blue-gray.
- Condition at Hatching
- Pheasant chicks hatch completely covered with down, eyes open. They leave the nest immediately, following the female and feeding for themselves.
Nest DescriptionThe Ring-necked Pheasant’s nest is a rudimentary affair—unlined or sparsely lined with vegetation taken from beside the nest depression. Females gather grasses, leaves, weed stalks, fine twigs, corn husks, and/or a few feathers from their own breast with which to line the nest. The average nest bowl is about 7 inches across and 2.8 inches deep.