Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus

Scientific Name: Phasianus colchicus (Phasianidae). 'Phasianus' = 'pheasant'; 'colchicus' = 'Colchis' (an ancient kingdom on the Black Sea).

English Name: Ring-necked Pheasant; Common Pheasant (Fowl family).

French Name: Faisan de colchide (='Colchis peasant'); Faisan à collier (='necklaced pheasant'); Faisan de chasse (='hunt pheasant'). Females are called la Faisane or Poule faisane.

5 Key Characters:
  • males 90 cm; females 50 cm.
  • usually has a white neck ring.
  • males come in many colour forms, and they can be nearly white or nearly black, but usually as shown in the photo.
  • males have long brown tail flecked with black that is more than half their length.
  • body feathers golden and chestnut with dark flecks and an irridescent sheen.


Habitat: Requires calcium, so favours limestone areas. Eats grains, insects, berries, worms and molluscs.

Status: Introduced to France in the Middle Ages. Most abundant pheasant in Europe. It is hunted and raised for its meat.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

A male guarding a female in the grounds of a chateau, May.

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