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Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

ring-necked pheasant


  • Males of this species may be as long as 90 centimetres (36 inches). The hen is smaller.


  • The bright colors and long, tapered tail of the male ring-necked pheasant makes this bird easily identifiable. The hen is mottled brown.
  • The ring-necked pheasant is a native of Japan and southern China. It was first successfully introduced into southwestern Alberta in 1908. It soon became common throughout central and southeastern Alberta in agricultural areas of the prairie and parkland zones.
Natural History


  • Dense cover bordering irrigation ditches and nearby grainfields is the ideal habitat for this species.


  • Summer diet includes weed seeds and insects.
  • Winter diet consists mainly of buds and seeds.
Reproduction and Growth
  • In spring, the male establishes a territory where he crows and beats his wings to attract a mate while warning other males of his presence. He may attract a harem of up to 10 hens.
  • Nests are usually concealed near fields, often in ditches or fencerows with dense cover.
  • Six to 12 buff eggs are incubated for 25 days.
  • Chick mortality is high, and populations are supported by release of hatchery-raised birds.
  • In the fall, pheasants move to areas with thick cover near stubble fields or other food sources.
Conservation and Management


The ring-necked pheasant is classified as Exotic/Alien in the General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:

Current management


Specific season information is provided in the current Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations. To view the guide online or to order a printed copy, visit the My Wild Alberta website at:


Page Information

Updated: Apr 7, 2010