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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of birds of the family Phasianidae of the and the Japanese pheasant order Galliformes. The body measures as much as 85 cm in length and weighs as much as 1.7–2 kg; the female is smaller than the male. The male has bright plumage with a metallic sheen, while the female is a grayish sandy color. The genus includes two species: the true pheasant (Ph. colchicus) and the Japanese pheasant (Ph. vesicolor).

There are approximately 30 geographical varieties of true pheasant, which differ in coloration. These varieties are found from Ciscaucasia and the Volga delta across Middle and Central Asia to Primor’e Krai and southeastern China. The true pheasant lives in forests with undergrowth, in thickets along river valleys and lakes, and among shrubs growing along fields. It nests on the ground. The clutch contains eight to 18 eggs, which the female incubates 24 or 25 days; the female alone cares for the young. The diet includes seeds, small fruits, and shoots, as well as insects, mollusks, and worms. A valuable game bird, the true pheasant is raised on special farms in many countries, including the USSR, where it is raised mainly in the Ukraine.

The Japanese pheasant is distributed in Japan.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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With its striking multicolored plumage and long, regal tail, the ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus, stands out as one of New York State's most favored game birds.
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Mercury in pheasant (Phasianus colchicus L.) deriving from seed grain dressed with methyl and ethyl mercury compounds.
Intersexual selection and reproductive success in the pheasant Phasianus colchicus.
Male characteristics, viability and harem size in the pheasant, Phasianus colchicus.
One important example is the ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), which was introduced in 1881 from Central Asia to the Willamette Valley, Oregon.