Help! Found A Male Silver Pheasant in My Yard!

Discussion in 'Pheasants and Partridge (Chukar)' started by KJenMA7, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. KJenMA7

    KJenMA7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello,

    I'm hoping someone here would be so kind as to give me some advice. I live in Massachusetts, and, two days ago, I found a large white and black bird with a red face and an incredibly long tail sitting in my yard, eating bird seed from the ground that we had put down for the birds. I had no idea what this bird was, so I went through all the bird books that I own. I knew it had to be a game bird of some sort, but since I've never seen a pheasant before, I didn't immediately know that the bird was a pheasant. Fortunately, the long tail helped me to quickly identify the bird. However, the only pheasant my books referenced was the Ring-Necked Pheasant. After much research online, I discovered that what I was seeing was a male Silver Pheasant.

    I could not find any information that indicated the Silver Pheasant is found in the wild in Massachusetts. Is this a correct assumption? If so, are we to assume this pheasant has to be someone's pet? My husband called our local police department to see if anyone had reported a lost Silver Pheasant. He was told to call our local Animal Control Officer, which he did. The Animal Control Officer told him that no one had reported a missing pheasant, and since it is considered a wild animal, she is not allowed to capture the animal unless it is injured (it is not). My husband also went around our neighborhood to try to find out if this pheasant belongs to anyone. We have been unsuccessful in finding anyone who keeps pheasants in our neighborhood, and none of our neighbors are aware of anyone this bird may belong to.

    I've lived in the same home for 21 years now, and we feed the birds year-round. We have never so much as seen a Ring-Necked Pheasant in our area, so I have no idea where this guy came from. We were just hit by a blizzard earlier in the week, and we have more heavy snow coming tonight and tomorrow. Temps have been bitterly cold with high winds, and I'm pretty concerned about this beautiful guy, as the temps are going to drop even lower over the next few days. We have a row of evergreens at the edge of our property. He is hiding under them during the day, and coming out regularly to eat the cracked corn, sunflower seed, and safflower seed that we have on the ground for the local critters. I do not believe, however, that he is staying under the evergreens during the night. Is there anything more we can/should be doing for him, assuming he really isn't a "wild" pheasant? Should we be offering him different food than what we put out for the local songbirds/woodpeckers? Is there an organization that we could call to pick him up (assuming, again, that he isn't a wild pheasant)? Any advice would be much appreciated!

    Thank you!
     
  2. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    Silvers can handle the cold temps.Where abouts in Ma are you?I know most of the people that raise pheasants there and maybe we can get him back home.
    In N.H.,Tony.
     
  3. KJenMA7

    KJenMA7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the response, Tony! I live in Somerset, MA.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I agree with Tony - provide feed and he can handle the weather. Hopefully Tony can locate his owners.
     
  5. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    Could Be Jose Sousa in Swansea,Roger Thibault in Swansea.I'll send you #'s to both.
    In N.H.,Tony.
     
  6. deserthotwings

    deserthotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your local animal control is defiantly wrong about possessing a Silver Pheasant. These birds are not native to any state in the US and are not considered "Game Birds". No license or permit is required for the possession of ornamental pheasants in any state. Ringnecks however are considered game birds and do require a license. They do not exist in the wild in the US and has no doubt escaped from a breeder. Providing he is not dinner for a predator he should do ok on his own if he has food and water. No problem with rain or snow. Escaped pheasants are pretty easy to capture at night but should not be approached in the day light since they spook real easy. Good Luck !
     
  7. KJenMA7

    KJenMA7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the info. Yes, I am aware that the Animal Control Officer is wrong, which is extremely frustrating. My husband put in another call to her, and he was told to call today at 10 AM if we see the Silver Pheasant at this time, as her supervisor will be on then. Perhaps I could ask the lovely guy if he'd be so kind as to show up on my property exactly at 10 AM. Unbelievable! He is not always somewhere that I can see him, and he seems to be more hesitant to come out to eat with each passing day. It is obvious that he is quite nervous. I only saw him a couple of times yesterday, and when I did, he was nervously darting under my evergreens. However, he is not staying under my evergreens as much as he was, and I'm not sure where he is going when he isn't here. To the right of my property is a small wooded area that belongs to a small dairy, and he is probably going in there. We just had about 2 feet of snow dumped on us a week ago, and it's currently snowing now with another 6 inches or more expected. So, trying to find him in the dark would be nearly impossible when we have no idea exactly where he is hiding out, not to mention the difficulty in even getting into the wooded area with all the snow we have. If we can't get the Animal Control Officer to try to rescue him during the day, I'm pretty certain no one will be volunteering to rescue him at night.

    Is there not any way to try to capture him during the day? I read a post in this forum about someone's Golden Pheasant getting loose, and it was recommended by one person to set up a raccoon-sized live animal cage trap. Would this be something worth trying for this guy? Our local Home Depot has a 1-Door Live Animal Cage Trap in stock. It is 32 inches in length, but I don't know if it is long enough for the Silver Pheasant, and I wouldn't want the trap door to close on his tail. All the other larger lengths need to be ordered online, as they are not available in stores.

    We are doing everything we can think of to help him, but it's very difficult when no one else around here is willing to help. Tony was kind enough to give us the name of a few breeders in our area, but nothing has come of it. So, I'm at a loss as to what to do next. If no one will come to get him, all we can do is offer him food. Offering water has not panned out because it is simply freezing over, nor is he even going to the bowl we placed the water into. At this point, I would be willing to even get him whatever food a pheasant should be eating and a heavy bowl to put it in. My husband is also willing to do this, but investing in an expensive heated water container (and a very long outdoor cord) is not really feasible. Our property has a town easement running through it (a man-made brook), and the Silver Pheasant is coming to the side of our property that is across the brook and away from our house and fenced in backyard.
     
  8. deserthotwings

    deserthotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't be too concerned about the cold and snow. These birds are native to Tibet and the mountains of China. If they withstand Tony's New Hampshire winters they can take most anything.They take cold and snow real well. I currently have about 70 Silver Pheasants and from time to time one will find his way out. Since this is their home they seldom stray very far away and always come back for dinner, pretty much like a teenager. Your idea of the humane trap works great if you can get him to come around it. They are very much attracted to scratch grain and if you put a small little container of it on the activator and set it real light then sprinkle a very light trail of the grain leading up to the container you should get him. Don't worry about his tail sticking out, if he looses a tail feather it's no big deal. He'll be eating the snow for a enough water to survive until the temperature rises but do your best to keep a little water available. Be sure and check the trap often since if he is captured and its too cold he could easily freeze to death. If you have woods nearby he is certainly roosting in a tree at night. Pheasants don't like to spend the night on the ground when they have somewhere to roost. It's probably better you don't have someone chasing him with a net. If he becomes frightened he'll probably take off for somewhere safer. The trap is your best bet and probably the only way to catch him. Animal Control is ok for dogs and cats but not too cool with wild birds. You also might try putting a notice on your local Craigs List to see if someone lost the bird. KEEP US POSTED !!
     
  9. KJenMA7

    KJenMA7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Just a quick post to let those who are interested know that nothing has changed. The Silver Pheasant is still here, but he is not coming to eat as often as he was. He's currently hanging out in the snow-filled brook under some tree/brush coverage. We've made more calls, all to no avail. No one seems interested in helping the poor fellow. So, we will not attempt to capture him, since we have no one willing to take him if we did. I did place an ad on Craigslist a short while ago, but I'm not overly optimistic anything will come of it. If anything changes, I'll post an update. Thanks to those who offered advice and local breeder info.
     
  10. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

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    If you were closer I would gladly give him a home.
    In N.H.,Tony.
     

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