Weekly Topics

Common Pheasant

My Saturday Bird this week is the Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). Known simply as a Pheasant to a lot of people in Europe it is known as the Ring-necked Pheasant in North America.

A species native to Asia and parts of Europe it has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. There are about 30 subspecies that can be partly identified by the presence or absence of a white neck ring on the males.

This male was photographed on the edge of a hoarfrost covered hay meadow in southern Cheshire, England. This individual has a partial white neck ring.

Saturday Bird: Common Pheasant

9 replies on “Common Pheasant”

On the other hand it’s a more accurate common English name than the North American name, Ring-necked Pheasant as not all males have a neck ring.

With all the DNA testing which results in a species being reclassified it’s just going to get more confusing. The Blue Tit is now the Eurasian Blue Tit. The Wren that was the Winter Wren is now three different species, one in Eurasia and two in North America.

Unless you’re a bird photographer and now lots of the captioned common English names and/or scientific names have changed.

I still don’t know how many species/subspecies of Herring Gull I have on file. There’s a debate about one of the European subspecies now being a separate species and no one seems able too decide if the North American Herring Gull is a subspecies or a separate species.

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