Ring-Necked Pheasant is the state bird of South Dakota. South Dakota titled the Chinese ring-necked pheasant as state bird of South Dakota in 1943. Its scientific name is Phasianus colchicus. Its natural habitat is agricultural land and old fields scattered with grass ditches, hedges, marshes, brushy groves and woodland borders.
Ring-Necked Pheasant’s diet consists of seeds, grasses, leaves, roots, wild fruits, nuts, insects etc. The male pheasants call throughout the day all year round which sounds like an abbreviated version of a domestic rooster’s crowing. It does not live more than a yea
State Bird of South Dakota Facts —
- Common name: Ring-necked Pheasant
- Scientific name: Phasianuscolchicus
- Habitat: Agricultural land and old fields scattered with grass ditches, hedges, marshes, brushy groves and woodland borders
- Diet: Seeds, grasses, leaves, roots, wild fruits, nuts, insects etc.
- Song and Calls: Male pheasants crow throughout the day all year round which sounds like a abbreviated version of a domestic rooster’s crowing.
- Weight: 500-3000 g
- Length: 50-70 cm
- Wingspan: 56-86 cm
- Average lifespan: under a year
- Incubation period: 23-28 days
South Dakota’s state bird,Pheasants have been in the United States for more than 200 years. They were first brought to North America in 1773, but they did not begin to propagate until the early 1800’s. The Old English Black-neck Pheasants brought in by the governors of New York and New Jersey in 1773, were not strong enough to survive.Today these birds have been introduced into 40 states. South Dakota has named the Ring-necked Pheasant as its state bird.
Common Pheasants, also known as the Ring-Necked Pheasants, are famous for the striking plumage of the male. Male pheasants, known as cocks, have vibrantly colored red masks on their face, which are surrounded by sparkling green feathers on their head. They have a white ring on their neck, with a maroon breast and long golden brown feathers with dark brown bars. Females, known as hens, are light tan and brown, without the bright colors in their plumage which are distinctive to the male. The short of coloration helps the female pheasants to be better camouflaged from predators.
In fall and winter, Ring-necked Pheasants eat seeds (especially grain from farm fields) as well as grasses, leaves, roots, wild fruits and nuts, and insects. Their spring and summer diet is similar, but with a greater importance on animal prey and fresh greenery. Pheasants, along with most members of the grouse family, have specialized and powerful breast muscles (which are known as the “white meat”, found on chickens as well).
These muscles convey bursts of power that allow the birds to escape trouble in a hurry, flushing nearly vertically into the air and reaching speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour.While the birds normally don’t cover more than about 600 feet at a time, ghastly winds can extend their flights significantly. Observers in 1941 reported seeing a pheasant fly a record four miles while crossing a body of water.Male Ring-necked Pheasants have been found to harass other ground-nesting birds, such as the Gray Partridge and the Greater Prairie-Chicken.
Female pheasants sometimes intentionally lay their own eggs in these birds’ nests. This explains why some male pheasants have been seen chasing away male prairie-chickens and courting females. The pheasants may have been raised in prairie-chicken nests and imprinted on the wrong species.Ring-necked Pheasants sometimes cope with acute cold by simply remaining dormant for days at a time.Pheasants practice “harem-defense polygyny”.
It is the case where one male keeps other males away from a small group of females during the breeding season. The South Dakota state bird, Ring-necked Pheasants, are common within their range. But their numbers have declined since a peak in the mid-twentieth century. The North American Breeding Bird Survey noted that despite increases in some areas, overall there was been a population decline of about 32% between 1966 and 2014.