Wild Reeves Pheasants in the US?

Discussion in 'Pheasants and Partridge (Chukar)' started by phasianidae, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. phasianidae

    phasianidae Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,941
    12
    163
    Nov 9, 2010
    Has there ever been a wild population?
     
  2. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:According to Paul Johnsgard, there are self-sustaining populations on islands in Maine and Michigan.
     
  3. phasianidae

    phasianidae Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,941
    12
    163
    Nov 9, 2010
    Quote:According to Paul Johnsgard, there are self-sustaining populations on islands in Maine and Michigan.

    Interesting, thank you. I wonder how many would need to be released to get a population started?
     
  4. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    It really depends on your terrain. They are easy to naturalise if you live in really steep terrain- on top of hill or on the side of one- flat land you'll lose them as they fly high and fast to reach the highest terrain. You can get them established with just a few eggs. I let a peahen go to set and remove all but two of her eggs. Then switch out the peahen eggs for double that number of reeve's eggs- you'll have to synchronize so that the eggs hatch on the 29th (not 28th) or 30th day of the peahen's incubation. She'll rear most of them and keep them in vocal contact for at least a year and remain bonded with them as adults. I've tried to use chickens but the hens don't do the job as well as peahens.
    Alternatively- and this is a much better fit- let a silver pheasant hen go to set on reeves eggs and keep her in a soft release pen- she can come and go into a yard but not beyond it without flying. Birds will begin to wander in and out- spooked and such- but she'll keep them close- the only problem is that she'll want to take them into the woods and without a male she's vulnerable to hawks as are her chicks. With a male she'll wander even further. Peahens are my favorite because I know she can wander into the fields with the reeves chicks without fear of the small hawks that kill silver hens and pheasant chicks. This enables them to gain comprehension of a larger range- and learn to be less paranoid. Repeat for the next few years and you'll end up with a stable swarm of males and a few females - you'll always be pleasantly surprised when hens show up with chicks- hens you'd assumed were long dead. Only the males are regulars around the barns in my experience- until winter- then they'll all stick around a bit closer and even migrate into the barns that they've been hatched and brooded for some important period of time in.
     
  5. phasianidae

    phasianidae Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,941
    12
    163
    Nov 9, 2010
    Thank you! How large of a wild population do you have? Where I live it is completely flat for miles so I guess I will have to wait for this one. I also really want to get a wild population of chickens established in the area, but I need to breed some that are hardy and smart enough first.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  6. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:There are more appropriate species for flat lands. How much vegetation is there around? Is this woodland or prairie? Are you surrounded by wide open spaces or?
     
  7. flyingmonkeypoop

    flyingmonkeypoop Overrun With Chickens

    3,592
    120
    268
    Apr 30, 2007
    Deer Park Washington
    I have a book about wildlife here in Washington that mentions reeves being turned loose by the game department south west of Spokane. According to the book they were reproducing well. I dont know if there are any still left. Id love to find some of the kalij and tinamous they got started.

    For wild chickens I suggest starting with an older more primitive breed like an oriental game type. We had a white rumpless araucana rooster who lived in the woods for 5 years before we managed to bait him into a trap. He was a great flyer even though he lacked a tail and always got out of cages when we tried to catch him. I was always surprised to see him alive when we have such a large population of predatory birds that should have gotten him since he was stark white but he survived.
     
  8. Lophura

    Lophura Chillin' With My Peeps

    579
    7
    158
    Jan 23, 2008
    Holden, Missouri
    Attempts were made in Missouri http://www.jstor.org/pss/3799011 , but failed. A buddy of mine was doing galliforme counts for MDC a few years back, it was brought up to him and he was shown the location. Pretty much every species (aside from the tropical, "expensive" species) have been attempted for sport over America's history - like Mike said, from Tinamou to Kalij in his area, Black Francolin to Coturnix Quail elsewhere, the list could go on and on with research. Being a birder, yet a galliforme lover, I have mixed feelings about the intros. It would be a lifer to see Snowcock in the Ruby Mts, but they are not native and Hawaii is a mess!! The practice has pretty much been abandoned thanks to our increased knowledge of invasive species and competition. There are those who still try it, but it is generally frowned upon by conservationists and even illegal in some states.

    Escapes are everywhere though and have shown up at some of the most strangest of places. Since I started gbwf, I've gotten tons of e-mails of birds to ID, most were Amherst, Golden, Reeves, Silver, & Chukar. They've made their way to suburban backyards, office complexes, etc. Some stayed for years, others just a passing glance. Some of the more unique sightings sent to me have been Blue Eared, Impeyan, & Temminck's Tragopan (wonder if there are any of the escaped Lineated Kalij left around my old house [​IMG] ). Waterfowl are much more common escape artists and the likes of Rosybills, Whistling Ducks, Eurasian Teal, Pochards, Shelducks, etc are seen all over the states. I will admit that I chased a Currassow all over Swope Park one Christmas Eve and even a Ground Hornbill that took refuge in a baseball field (both zoo escapees)!!

    Subscribe to some of the ListServs in your state, it is very interesting to keep track of the escapees and unusal birds reported. In Missouri, we've had some interesting ones. Sad that most will not survive our crazy weather.

    Dan
     
  9. flyingmonkeypoop

    flyingmonkeypoop Overrun With Chickens

    3,592
    120
    268
    Apr 30, 2007
    Deer Park Washington
    Dan, this reminded me of something I Was about to post. Today I saw an amherst hen out in the tree farm when I went to check the mail. I could tell it was a ruffed pheasant when I saw it perched on a branch but got closer and saw it was an amherst. I know there should be silvers and reeves that have escaped from my pens before but never thought of ruffed pheasants since I dont know anyone in the area with them. I would love to have silvers running around the farmstead when I get my numbers up just because they are awesome birds
     
  10. wpalmisano

    wpalmisano Chillin' With My Peeps

    400
    1
    111
    Aug 11, 2010
    Connecticut
    If there was a population it would have to remain isolated, if they can breed with ringnecks, they will be bred out of existence.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by