Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked Pheasant
(Phasianus colchicus)

Order:  Galliformes
Family:  Phasianidae

Ring-necked Pheasant - Breeding Male
Photo © Mike Danzenbaker

Ring-necked Pheasant Information

Length:  30 - 36"

Breeding habitat: Cultivated farmland near woodland edges or with some brushy areas; hedgerows, brushy meadows, edges of marshes, grassy woodland edges.

Winter habitat: Thickets and other areas of dense cover. Often found in swamps with vegetation such as cattails and bulrushes.

Diet:  Weed seeds and waste grains; buds, leaves, acorns, insects; wild fruits and berries; occasionally, small rodents.

  Calls of the Ring-necked Pheasant

Additional Information

Ring-necked Pheasant
Photo of Ring-necked Pheasant, description, habitat and diet, range, and life history.(From Wildlife in Connecticut)

Female Ring-necked Pheasant

Female Ring-necked Pheasant

By James Mann [CC BY 2.0], via WC

Ring-necked Pheasant
Identification Tips

  • Chunky, long-tailed, round-winged, ground-dwelling bird
  • Small head and thin neck
  • Immatures similar to adult female
  • Some subspecies have green body or white wings, but are very locally introduced
Adult male
  • Green head
  • Pale bill
  • Unfeathered red facial skin around eye
  • White ring around neck
  • Golden plumage with bluish and greenish iridescence and black spots scattered throughout
  • Long, pointed, golden tail feathers with black barring
  • Spurred legs
Adult female
  • Buffy brown head and underparts
  • Dark brown back with paler edgings and centers
  • Black spots and bars scattered about head, neck and flanks
  • Long, buff-brown, pointed tail
  • Lacks spurs

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Ring-necked Pheasant Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England

The Ring-necked Pheasant is an introduced bird in North America. This bird is usually a year-round resident in the areas where has become established.

In New England, this pheasant is found more commonly in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, with smaller populations in Maine and southern New Hampshire.

The numbers and distribution of resident breeding populations is difficult to ascertain due to yearly restocking by game managers in most New England states.

Year-round Map from eBird

Year-round sightings of the Ring-necked Pheasant over last 10 years

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS