Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ring-necked Pheasant

Jeanette noticed this striking male Ring-necked Pheasant in a campsite as we were driving out of Nehalem Bay State Park this morning.  We were both quite surprised to see it even though I had heard it earlier.  This bird would be high on the list of birds least expected to be seen on the Oregon Coast.  We both grew up in the Willamette Valley so know them very well by sight and sound.  In those days they were called China Pheasants. I remember very will the exact location in the Lebanon area where I grew up that the birds were origally released by Judge Denny who imported them from China in 1888. In my day they were very common and a very popular bird to hunt.  Their populations in the Willamette Valley have greatly declined (from what I have read) because of the removal of fence rows and smaller fields replaced by large unfenced acerage.  However, I still would would expect to find Ring-necked Pheasnats in grassy open areas, not in a busy state park campground surrounded by shorepine and sandy beaches. How he got here is a mystery to me, but on the other hand it's easy to imagine that he has found it "easy pickings" wondering campsite to campsite picking up dropped food items.      


  1. Yes, the China Pheasant. I, too, grew up with this pheasant, but outside of Salem. From time to time, we would scare one out of a brushy ditch when walking by, which would scare us to death with its squak when it flew out. Lee

  2. Dad got me a shotgun when I was about 14, and we walked corn rows (feed corn that was dead and waiting picking to be used for cattle) looking for pheasants. They were smart enough to fly for a bit, land, and then run like the devil, so when you got near the space where they landed, they had disappeared. Great memory that I shared with my Dad and older brother. Thanks for that, Jim!

    1. By the way, much, MUCH tramping through the fields on fall days, and not even ONE shot taken! Glad of that, as I don't think I'd have liked pheasant. Chicken was much easier to get on the table! Thanks for the memory once again, Jim.