The Common Pheasant, also known as the Ring-necked Pheasant, is a bird native to Asia. The adult male has a long brown streaked black tail; the body plumage is barred bright gold and brown with green, purple and white markings. The head is bottle green with a small crest and distinctive red wattles. Like with most gamebirds, the female is a duller mottled brown plumage all over with small red markings on the face.
There are many color mutations of the Common Pheasant. Two of the most commonly seen mutations are the Melanistic Ring-neck and White Ring-neck, which is not the same species as the Alaskan Snow Pheasant. The White Ring-neck is nearly all white with some brown speckles within the white feathering and red wattles. The Melanistic Ring-neck comes in several colors such as Blue, Green and Black. The Black mutation is actually a very dark green, blue and brown (nearly iridescent) color pattern, which can be seen, in direct sunlight. From a distance and at times of indirect sunlight, the pheasant will appear to be black.
Isabella are a cream and buff colored pheasant with red waffles.
Breeding season is from February to June. Hens lay an average of 6 to 12 eggs, which incubate for 25 days. Ring-necks do best in a run with plenty of ground cover. Many breeders use old tree branches as roosts for the birds and will plant live bushes or ornamental grass in the run for the birds to remain calmer than in an open run.
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