The Official South Dakota State Bird: Ring-Neck Pheasant

The Ring-Neck Pheasant(Phasianus colchicus) is the official state bird of South Dakota. A magnificent bird that is sure to bring beauty and excitement to your backyard or farm. This pheasant is well known for its long tail and vibrant colors. The male birds have bright plumage with a ring of feathers around their necks, while the females are more subdued in color. These birds are native to South Dakota and can be found in many open areas throughout the state.

Where Does the Ring-Neck Pheasant Come From?

Ring-Neck Pheasant origin

The ring-neck pheasant is a bird that is native to China and East Asia. It was first introduced into North America in the 1880s and has since become one of the most popular game birds in the United States.

How Did the Ring-Neck Pheasant Become South Dakota’s State Bird? 

Ring-Neck Pheasant

The ring-neck pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) was designated as the state bird of South Dakota on February 13, 1943. It is a very popular bird in the state and many people fell for the beauty of this bird.

What Does the Ring-Neck Pheasant Look Like?

Ring-Neck Pheasant state bird

The ring-neck pheasant is a plump bird with a long tail. The male has a glossy blue-green head, a red face, and a whitish collar that goes all the way around its neck (hence the name “ring-neck”). The rest of its body is chestnut-brown with black bars. The female is much less flashy, with a brown head and body and only a hint of the collar. Both sexes have long, pointed tails.

Ring-neck pheasant is a fairly large bird, measuring about 2.5 feet from beak to tail and weighing up to 3 pounds.

How does the Ring-Neck Pheasant Behave? 

Ring-Neck Pheasant behavior

The Ring-Neck Pheasant is a very social bird and can often be seen in small groups or coveys. They are also very vocal birds, with the males making a distinctive ‘crowing’ sound during mating season. The Ring-Neck Pheasant is an omnivorous bird and its diet consists of a variety of seeds, insects, and other small animals.

It is a ground-dwelling bird and prefers to nest in areas of dense vegetation. The female will lay a clutch of 4-12 eggs, which will hatch after 23-28 days. The young birds can fly at around 6 weeks old.

What Does Ring-Neck Pheasant Eat?

Ring-Neck Pheasant eating

The ring-neck pheasant is an omnivorous bird, meaning that it will eat both plants and animals. Some of the plants that the ring-neck pheasant consumes include berries, seeds, leaves, and roots. The animal portion of the ring-neck pheasant’s diet consists of insects, small mammals, and reptiles.

In the wild, ring-neck pheasants typically eat whatever food is most readily available. However, when these birds are kept as pets or raised for hunting purposes, their diet must be carefully planned and monitored to ensure that they receive all the nutrients they need.

What Does a Ring-Neck Pheasant Song Sound Like?

The male ring-neck pheasant has a loud, distinctive call that is often described as “crowing.” This sound is used to attract mates and to warn other males of his territory. The female ring-neck pheasant does not have such a loud call, but she does make a softer “cooing” sound. Pheasants also make a variety of other sounds including chuckles, coos, whines, and yelps.

What Is the Lifespan of a Ring-necked Pheasant?

Ring-Neck Pheasant life

The typical lifespan of a ring-necked pheasant in the wild is about two to three years. However, captive birds often live much longer, with some individuals known to reach more than 15 years of age. The oldest recorded ring-necked pheasant was a hen that lived to be 19 years and 4 months old.

The main predators of ring-necked pheasants are hawks, owls, and other birds of prey. However, these birds are also hunted by humans for their meat and feathers. As a result, the ring-necked pheasant is considered to be a game species in many parts of North America.

Final Thoughts

The ring-neck pheasant is a beautiful bird that is very popular in South Dakota. It is a great bird for hunting and also makes a great pet. If you are thinking about getting a ring-neck pheasant, be sure to do your research to make sure that you are providing the best care possible.

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