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.|