Location: Botley, Hampshire, UK
A large, long-tailed gamebird which is native to russia, which has been introduced to many parts of the world. Males have rich chestnut, golden-brown and black markings on body and tail, with a dark green head and red face wattling. Females are mottled with paler brown and black. They were introduced to the UK long ago for sport shooting.
They can be found accross the UK, apart form the far north and west of Scotland and no urban areas.
Usually seen in the open countryside near woodland edges, copses and hedgerows.
The Common Pheasant is one of the world’s most hunted birds as it has been introduced for that purpose. It is found on game farms where it is commercially bred in order to shot by not necesseraly experienced people.
The practice, is that a shoot is organised, the birds released and scared so they swoop into the air, to be shot with 12 bore shot guns. These shoots are expensive and mainly wealthy people in the UK engage in the sport. It has become more and more common for Banks and other institutions to add this to their entertainment program for wealthy clients. These clients are inexperienced with many only holding a gun for the first time in their lives. It is quite common for the birds to die slowly and agonising from the injuries incurred by unqualified and inexperienced people.
Some Pheasants can bee seen roaming wild on cultivated land and woodland, were they delight the walker with their colourful plumage. During the breeding period, the male bird (cock) can be seen chasing in blind pursuit his love desire across a busy road or even motorway. Sadly I witness the sad result on my way to work, as this beautiful bird lies motionless on the road as a result of a motor accident.
Less wildlife would be killed if motorists would slow down on country roads, instead of using it like a motor or speedway to satisfy their adrenalin addiction