DavidHowdon's picture

Pheasant ageing

Observed: 3rd October 2012 By: DavidHowdon
Amateur Entomologists' SocietyLondon Natural History SocietySelborne Society
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Male 0063 Phasianus colchicus Linnaeus (Pheasant) - Perivale Wood, Middlesex (VC 21), 3rd October 2012
Male 0063 Phasianus colchicus Linnaeus (Pheasant) - Perivale Wood, Middlesex (VC 21), 3rd October 2012
Description:

Pheasant isn't a particularly common bird locally although they bred this year (for the first time in years). None of my bird literature has much on pheasant moult patterns (I suspect because they are not really regarded as a 'proper' bird) so I'm not sure whether this is a young bird moulting into adult plumage or an adult male moulting into fresh plumage. I'd plump for the former but comments welcomed.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

David Jardine's picture

Age?

I'm not aware of any of the Pheasant family going into an eclipse plumage, so I think that is probably a first year year bird turning into adult plumage

Fenwickfield's picture

Age

I am no expert but I live on a very large estate were they rear them for the shoot.I have had a female that produced chicks in my veg garden this year and I have one dominant male that I would say was a few years old and he is moulting at the moment he is much darker around the head than the other males,it would be great if they could be ringed to see how long they survive and how many manage to breed.They are not as stupid as people say because the shoot rarely come up to my house and when they do they all hide in my garden .

Fenwickfield

bobthebirder's picture

pheasant ageing

The second photo clearly shows some pale brown immature feathers amongst the scapulars (where the wing meets the back) so this is just attaining its first adult plumage. Madge & McGowan (Helm Identification Guide: Pheasants, Partridges & Grouse) states that the juvenile plumage lasts 6-8 weeks and the immature plumage up to 5 months, so this is a 2012 bird.

Bob Ford