Newbie from California with a surprise Pheasant

Eggin 'Em On

8 Years
Jan 6, 2012
Hello Pheasant People!

I have a beautiful male ring neck pheasant that showed up four days ago in my yard. (Central Coast California) First noticed him roosting in the street tree! I live in town, have a large native garden (lots of cover) with pond. He seems unperturbed by my presence. I love that this guy's visiting, and expect that he'll be moving on, but do they sometimes decide to stick around? He seems to be hanging out now near the wild bird feeders. Do y'all think maybe he's an escapee from a hunting preserve ten miles away? Thanks for any clues and ideas on what a single pheasant might be up to. Anita
Congrats on your new visitor it's cool when they just show up like that. As long as he has pleanty to eat and no predators to chase him away he should stick around. At least until breeding season then he might get other ideas.
Thanks for the input, Golden Reeves. We do have raccoons, possums, skunks, house cats and at times Coopers hawks. Would these be a threat to a grown pheasant or do they tend to get the chicks? This guy's got all his adult feathers, but he's pretty darn mellow is what worries me. Will a free range adult pheasant be smart/feisty enough to outmatch the varmints? Should I be packing him up and taking him for a ride to the country? Or building him a pen? Or just enjoying the moment and stop worrying?
Sounds like you have a whole host of critters who would enjoy partaking in a pheasant meal. All of these varmits you described will snatch up a full grown pheasant in a heart beat. Taking him to the country would probably be an even worst move than leaving him in your yard. He'd still be pray to lots of varmits and pretty low on grocerys too. If he's gentle enough for you to capture him and adopt him as a pet, that would probably be your best choice. I would be particualy watchful of the hawks and owls. A litlle mixed scratch grain and water might help him out too. (one more thing, technically you do need a game permit, don't know about Ca but here in Az its really only required if you raise the birds for sale. You can always get a state hobby permit for about 5 or 10 bucks if you have less than 10 birds. ) If he has food and water and nothing bothers him you will probably have a new neighbor, at least until mating season. Good Luck Amigo !!!
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Sounds like he escaped and is used to being around people. He is hanging around the bird feeders. As long as there is food he will keep showing up. During mating season, he will take off, but they can become quite tame. If he knows you're an easy meal, he'll be back when times get tough. Maybe with a few ladies. As for the survival of pheasant in the wild, the rate is dismal, even under the best circumstances. Lots of egg and chick eaters, lots of starvation, freak weather, cars, and a shortage of suitable habitat. Avian predators, hawks, owls, eagles, get most adult pheasants, at least around here (Southern New England). Fox, coyotes, domestic cats, mop up the rest. I know there are pheasant that hold over here because they hang around the flight pen in all the seasons, long after the state stops stocking for hunting. I haven't heard of a self sustaining population other than farm country.
Thanks for all the input. Just to update, the pheasant (yes, we named him Buck) stayed for a month, ate a lot of chicken scratch, sunflower seeds and peanuts, and kept my mind peacefully occupied through the shock of my Mom passing away two weeks ago. Don't know if angels come in the form of pheasants but I'm betting they do. Maybe he'll be back with the ladies, maybe not. In any case, thanks Buck!
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