环颈雉 – huán-jǐng zhì- ‘ring-necked pheasant’
雉鸡 – zhì-jī – ‘pheasant fowl’ (M&P, Atlas, Alternative in Cheng)
The Common Pheasant is the most familiar “game bird”, one of several chicken-like birds which are often hunted by humans for sport, in Europe and
North America. In North America, it is usually called, the “Ring-necked
Pheasant”. In Europe and North America, it is
probably the commonest game bird as well. All the members of this species
presently found in Europe and North America were imported from .
today, the Common Pheasant, despite its name, is becoming increasingly uncommon
due to local persecution. China
There are many subspecies of this bird in
and there are some differences in the appearance of these subspecies. The males
of all subspecies, however, are easily identifiable as Common Pheasants. All
have the signature mottled brown body, greenish-black head and red orbital skin
on the face. The males of most subspecies have a white neck ring. The females
of all subspecies are dull-looking brown birds which are easily confused with
females of other pheasant species. China
The Common Pheasant is found throughout the Eastern half of
where it is a non-migratory, resident species. As this bird tends to stay close
to the ground among thick vegetation, it is more often heard than seen. Its
call is a two part, loud coughing followed by an audible whir of the bird’s
The Common Pheasant prefers grasslands near water, but it is extremely adaptable and can live in woodlands, marshlands and cultivated areas, also. The males of all pheasant species are polygamous and have harems of females with which they breed. The Common Pheasant nests on the ground and the female lays a large clutch of usually around ten eggs.
This species is omnivorous and will seeds, fruits, insects, and even vertebrates such as lizards, snakes, and even small mammals and other birds.
|Photo by Lukasz Lukasik|