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Montana Field Guides

Ring-necked Pheasant - Phasianus colchicus

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Exotic Species (not native to Montana)

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 4
PIF:


 

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Copyright by Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, all rights reserved.
 
General Description
The Ring-necked Pheasant adult male has a long, barred tail, iridescent coloration, white collar, and bright red face patch. The adult female also has a relatively long and strongly barred tail, but she has a dull, mottled brown back and buff-colored breast. Adult males range from 30 to 36 inches in length and average 2.9 pounds in weight; adult females range from 21 to 25 inches in length and average 2.1 pounds in weight.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Female or young Greater Sage-Grouse and Sharp-tailed Grouse can be confused with female pheasants or young pheasants of both sexes, but female Greater Sage-Grouse have a black belly patch and feathered legs, while female pheasants have a brown belly and bare legs. Sharp-tailed Grouse have a much shorter tail, feathered legs, and white under parts.

General Distribution
Montana Range



Montana Distribution


Western Hemisphere Range

 


Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 7294

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

Breeding
(direct evidence "B")


Breeding
(indirect evidence "b")


No evidence of Breeding
(transient "t")


Overwintering
(regular observations "W")


Overwintering
(at least one obs. "w")



 

(Records associated with a range of dates are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Habitat consists of open grassland and cropland areas with brushy cover, especially along watercourses. Good habitat consists of grain crops and undisturbed herbaceous cover associated with brush and trees. Extensive grasslands or forests do not provide good habitat (Mussehl 1971). In winter pheasants are found mainly associated with brushy cover or tall grasses within a quarter mile of a source of grain for food.

Food Habits
In northwest Montana, wheat and barley occurred in 67% and 23% respectively of the crops collected in the fall, and accounted for 77% of crop volume (Austin and Howell 1972).

Ecology
Crowing cock densities were 13.8 per square mile in central Montana; sex ratio was 1 male:0.68 females (1 Male:2.36 Females for harems). Food in fields is utilized only if uncultivated cover is found nearby.

Reproductive Characteristics
Average clutch sizes of 10.1 (1958) and 6.7 (1959) were reported south of Missoula, with an August, 1959 brood size of 5.6 young. Peak hatching occurs in early June, but hatching continues into August. Skunks and Black-billed Magpies are the main nest predators.

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View WorldCat Record   View Online Publication
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    • American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. 7th edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. 829 pp.
    • Anonymous. 1946. Trapping and transplanting ring-necked pheasants. Montana Fish and Game Comm. 1945-46 Biennial Report.
    • Anonymous. 1950. Pheasant harvest findings. Montana Fish and Game Department. P-R Quarterly Rep. January-March:72-77.
    • Anonymous. 1957. Summary of 1957 hunter return game farm pheasants. Montana Dept. of Fish and Game, Helena, MT. 2 pp.
    • Anonymous. 1959. Ring-necked pheasant. Montana Wildlife. November.
    • Anonymous. 1962. Hunting the hen. Montana Wildlife. January.
    • Anonymous. The hen pheasant controversy. Montana Dept. of Fish and Game, Helena, MT. 6 pp.
    • Arnold, D. A. 1958. The fox and the pheasant. Montana Wildlife. April.
    • Atwell, G. C. 1959. An evaluation of magpie predation on the ring-necked pheasant. M.S. thesis. Montana State Univ., Bozeman. 74 pp.
    • Austin, R. R. 1972. Habitat diversity as related to pheasant use on a game management area in northwestern MT. State of MT, Proj. No. W-120-R-2, 3.
    • Baldwin, W. D. 1918. Breeding the pheasant. Montana Fish and Game Comm. 1917-18 Biennial Report:71-75.
    • Bergeland, M. E., H. W. Moon, G. A. M. Sharman, and R. J. Greene. 1962. Pheasant death loss investigation at Fort Peck, Montana game farm, summer 1962. Montana Dept. of Fish and Game, Fort Peck. 6 pp.
    • Bergeson, W. R. 1947. Value of roadside counts in pheasant censusing in Montana. Proc. Western Assoc. State Game and Fish Comm. 27:149-153.
    • Bergeson, W. R. 1950. Band returns from game farm pheasants in Montana. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., January March: 191·205.
    • Bergeson, W. R. 1952. Pheasant propagation in Montana. Montana Wildlife. Summer.
    • Bergeson, W., M. I. Fisher, and R. W. Hiatt. 1947. The validity of the roadside census as applied to pheasants. J. Wildl. Manage. 11:205-226.
    • Buss, I. O., and F. Hartkom. 1948. Pheasants and range conditions - westen Montana, 1948. Montana Fish and Game Department Spec. Rep. 6 pp.
    • Craighead, J. J. and M. G. Hornocker. 1962. A comparison of methods for obtaining mortality records of ring-necked pheasants. J. Wildl. Mgmt. 26(2):224-226.
    • DeSimone, R. M. 1975. Interspersion of cover types as related to pheasant use on a game management area in southcentral Montana. M.S. thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman.
    • Ecological Consulting Service (ECON), Helena, MT., 1972, Wildlife Investigations: 10 x 20 Mile Area, Colstrip, Montana. Project 9--01--A. Annual Report to Montana Power Company and Western Energy Company; December 1972 - December 1973. December 21, 1973.
    • Ecological Consulting Service (ECON), Helena, MT., 1973, Wildlife Investigations: Areas A & B, Colstrip, Montana. Project 1--01--A. Annual Report to Montana Power Company and Western Energy Company; December 1972 - December 1973. December 21, 1973.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1975, Colstrip 10 x 20 Area wildlife and wildlife habitat annual monitoring report, 1975. Proj. 71-23-A. December 31, 1975.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1976, Colstrip 10 x 20 Area wildlife and wildlife habitat annual monitoring report, 1976. Proj. 135-85-A. December 31, 1976.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1977, Colstrip 10 x 20 Area wildlife and wildlife habitat annual monitoring report, 1977. Proj. 164-85-A. December 31, 1977.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1979, Annual wildllife report of the Colstrip Area for 1978. Proj. 195-85-A. April 6, 1979.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1979, Annual wildllife report of the Colstrip Area for 1979, including a special raptor research study. Proj. 216-85-A. March 1, 1980.
    • ECON, Inc. (Ecological Consulting Service), Helena, MT., 1979, Area B four-section wildlife report. August 3, 1979.
    • Ehrlich, P., D. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birder’s handbook: a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. Simon and Schuster Inc. New York. 785 pp.
    • Everin, W. J. 1960. Pheasant research - hen shooting. Montana Dept. of Fish and Game. 2 pp.
    • Giudice, John H., and John T. Ratti. 2001. Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). Species Account Number 572. The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved 3/25/2008 from The Birds of North America Online database
    • Greene, R. J. 1948. Pheasant nest predation by magpies. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., October-December: 171-179.
    • Greene, R. J. 1948. Survival studies on game farm raised pheasant in Montana. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., April-June: 329-343.
    • Greene, R. J., and F. L. Harktorn. 1947. Preliminary findings on pheasant banding and releasing in the Fairfield area. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., July-September.
    • Hartkorn, F. L. 1947. Preliminary ring-neck pheasant productivity check over Montana. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., July-September.
    • Hartkorn, F. L. 1949. A study of Chinese pheasant feeding stations - Flathead County. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., April-Iune:I-16.
    • Hartkorn, F. L. 1949. A study of Chinese pheasant feeding stations - Flathead County. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., January-March:67-71.
    • Hartkorn, F. L. 1950. Spring-released hen pheasant investigation. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., January- March:206-212.
    • Hartkorn, F. L. 1951. Effect of land use on pheasant production. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., OctoberDecember: 38-40.
    • Hartkorn, F. L. 1951. Survival of game farm pheasants released in the Bitterroot Valley. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., January-March:67-61.
    • Hartkorn, F. L., and R. J. Greene. 1947. Preliminary findings on Chinese pheasant banding and releasing on the Moiese Game Bird Farm. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., July-September.
    • Hartkorn, F. L., W. W. Woodgerd, and W. Bergeson. 1953. Survival of game farm reared pheasants. Montana Fish and Game Dept. P-R Quarterly Rep., January-March: 102-110.
    • Hiatt, R. W. 1946. The relation of pheasants to agriculture in the Yellowstone and Bighorn River valleys of Montana: a summary of the final report. Montana Fish and Game Dept. information leaflet. 8 pp.
    • Hiatt, R. W. 1947. The relation of pheasants to agriculture in the Yellowstone and Bighorn River valleys of Montana. Montana Fish and Game Comm., Wildl. Restor. Div. Bull. 72 pp.
    • Hiatt, R. W., and H. I. Fisher. 1947. The reproductive cycle of ring-necked pheasants in Montana. Auk. 64:528-548.
    • Janson, Reuel G., F. Hartkorn, and R. Greene. 1971. Ring-necked pheasant. pp. 153-159 in T.W. Mussehl and F.W. Howell (eds.), Game Management in Montana. Montana Department of Fish and Game, Helena. 238 pp.
    • Johnsgard, P. A. 1992. Birds of the Rocky Mountains with particular reference to national parks in the northern Rocky Mountain region. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. xi + 504 pp.
    • Lenard, S., J. Carlson, J. Ellis, C. Jones, and C. Tilly. 2003. P. D. Skaar's Montana Bird Distribution, 6th Edition. Montana Audubon: Helena, MT, 144 pp.
    • Montana Bird Distribution Committee. 2012. P.D. Skaar's Montana bird distribution. 7th Edition. Montana Audubon, Helena, Montana. 208 pp. + foldout map.
    • Montana Dept. of State Lands, 1978, Preliminary environmental review for the proposed granting of an underground mining permit to Beartooth Coal Company, Incorporated, for the reopening of an underground coal mine in the area of Bearcreek, Carbon County, Montana. July 10, 1978.
    • Montana Dept. of Transportation., 200?, Montana Dept. of Transportation Biological Resources Report: Wetland mitigation east of Browning. Montana Wetland ?? Proj. No. NH 0002(232) CN 0703. In Perry Ranch - East of Browning Wetland Mitigation Site, Glacier County. US#3. Man.? Fin Dist3 Admin.Dist3
    • Reavley, W. L. 1948. The pheasant program in Montana. Proc. Western Assoc. Fish and Game Comm., Salt Lake City, Utah. 28: 140-144.
    • Roby, E. F. 1960. A two-year study of pheasant stocking the Gallatin Valley, Montana. M.S. thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 29 pp.
    • Roby, E.F. 1951. A two-year study of pheasant stocking in the Gallatin Valley, Montana. J. Wildl. Manage. 15:299-307.
    • Ruff, R. L. 1963. A study of the predatory effects of a reduced magpie population on the ring-necked pheasant. M.S. thesis. University of Montana, Missoula. 96 pp.
    • Tsai, K. 1989. Nesting of ring-necked pheasants in the Nine Pipe area of western Montana. M.S. thesis, University of Montana, Missoula.
    • U.S. Forest Service. 1991. Forest and rangeland birds of the United States: Natural history and habitat use. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Agricultural Handbook 688. 625 pages.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 1987, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report, 1987 Field Season. December 1987.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 1988, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report, 1988 Field Season. December 1988.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 1989, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report, 1989 Field Season. December 1989.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 1991, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report, 1990 Field Season. September 1991.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 1992, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report, 1991 Field Season. December 1992.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 1993, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report; 1992 Field Season. December 1993.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 1993, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report; 1993 Field Season. April 1993.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 1995, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana:1994 Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report; December 1, 1993 - November 30, 1994. February 27, 1995.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 1998, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: 1997 Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report; December 1, 1996 - November 30, 1997 Survey Period. March 23, 1998.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 1999, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: 1998 Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report; December 1, 1997 - November 30, 1998 Survey Period. February 24, 1999.
    • Waage, Bruce C., 2002, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana. 2001 Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report; December 1, 2000 - November 30, 2001. Febr. 26, 2002.
    • Waage, Bruce C., compiler., 1984, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Rosebud County, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report, 1983 Field Season. June 1984.
    • Waage, Bruce C., compiler., 1985, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Rosebud County, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report, 1984 Field Season. October 1985.
    • Waage, Bruce C., compiler., 1986, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Rosebud County, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report, 1985 Field Season. December 1986.
    • Waage, Bruce C., compiler., 1986, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Rosebud County, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report, 1986 Field Season. December 1986.
    • Weigand, J. P. 1973. Pheasant population and habitat trends in MT. MT Fish and Game Dept.
    • Weigand, J. P. 1973. Should we hunt the hen pheasant? Montana Outdoors 9(2):41-45.
    • Weigand, J. P., and R. G. Janson. 1976. Montana's ring-necked pheasant: history, ecology and management. Mont. Dept. Fish and Game, Game Div. Bull. 178 pp.
    • Westech Environmental Services, Inc., 2003, Wildlife monitoring: Absaloka Mine area, 2002. April 2003
    • Western Energy Co., Colstrip, MT., 1980, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Report, 1980.
    • Western Energy Co., Colstrip, MT., 1981, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Report, 1981.
    • Western Energy Co., Colstrip, MT., 1981, Western Energy Company's Application for a Surface Mining Permit: Area C - Block 1. Vol. 1. May 1981.
    • Western Energy Co., Colstrip, MT., 1982, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Report, 1982.
    • Woodgerd, W. R. 1953. A study of plant development coincident with some phases of ring-necked pheasant breeding behavior. M.S. thesis. University of Montana, Missoula. 64 pp.
    • Zapatka, T.P. 1963. Some results of two limited hunting seasons on hen pheasants in northcentral Montana. M.S. Thesis, Montana State University, Bozeman. 26 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Ring-necked Pheasant — Phasianus colchicus.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on September 15, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=ABNLC07010
 
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