pheasant


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pheasant,

common name for some members of a family (Phasianidae) of henlike birds related to the grouse and including the Old World partridge, the peacock, various domestic and jungle fowls, and the true pheasants (genus Phasianus). Pheasants are characterized by their wattled heads and long tails and by the brilliant plumage and elaborate courtship displays of the male. They are all indigenous to Asia, chiefly India. The English pheasant, introduced from the Black Sea area before 1056, has been interbred with both the Chinese ring-necked and the Japanese pheasants, and the hybrid ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus, is established as a common game bird in the N United States. It eats berries, seeds, young shoots, and insects and prefers open country with brush cover. The body of the male ring-necked pheasant is mostly reddish brown, the head and neck an iridescent dark green, the face red, and the neck ringed with white. The protectively colored hen is distinguished from the grouse by her long tail. The closely related ruffed grouse is called pheasant in the central and S United States. Asian pheasants of great beauty are the argus (Argusianus argus), the golden (Chrysolophus pictus), the silver (Gennaeus nycthemerus), and the Lady Amherst (C. amherstiae), all of which inhabit the Himalayas—as do the Reeves pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii), with an 8-ft (2.4-m) tail, the unique tree-dwelling Impeyan pheasant (Tophophorus impejanus), and the tragopan, or horned, pheasant (Tragopan temmincki). Pheasants are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Galliformes, family Phasianidae.

pheasant

[′fez·ənt]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of various large sedentary game birds with long tails in the family Phasianidae; sexual dimorphism is typical of the group.

pheasant

1. any of various long-tailed gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, esp Phasianus colchicus (ring-necked pheasant), having a brightly-coloured plumage in the male: native to Asia but introduced elsewhere
2. any of various other gallinaceous birds of the family Phasianidae, including the quails and partridges
3. US and Canadian any of several other gallinaceous birds, esp the ruffed grouse
References in periodicals archive ?
4 INTO PORT Add red wine and port and reduce to 1/2, then add stock, bouquet garni and berries 5 BACK TO THE PAN Return pheasants to cooking pan, check seasoning, cover & cook in a slow oven at 170C for 35 mins until tender.
I recently travelled on the Pickering to Whitby steam train in the North York Moors and whilst travelling on the train I witnessed an incredible scene involving pheasants.
The zoo has also received a pair of Elliot pheasants, another species new to the site.
It was remarkable that the pheasant had managed to get trapped in such a tiny space.
He took gunnysacks and went to the grove to pick up pheasants, and then he'd bring them to the basement.
Softer shot will normally pattern a little wider from the over-choked barrel of the average pheasant shotgun, because some of the shot deforms during its trip down the barrel, and the deformed shot tends to veer away from the main pattern.
The golden pheasant chicks hatched at the farmover the weekend and are all healthy.
Biologists with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released and monitored the "Sichuan" pheasant (P.
This was the first opportunity for several of the hunters to participate in a pheasant hunt.
Many lodges release thousands of birds each year; the two most popular species are pheasant and quail.
AN artist aiming to cut the road death toll of wild creatures has created the Pheasant Bomb Kit.
That braggy ring-necked pheasant (FEZ-unt) over there knows what he's talking about.