Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bird of the Day: Does This Bird Look Sad?

Can birds be sad? I don't know the answer to that one, but I sure feel sorry for this particular Ring-necked Pheasant ( Phasianus colchicus). I've been seeing this female for a few weeks now, always outside the fencing of the Pheasant compound in our west campus agriculture area. The school has a small flock of pheasants, a few dozen, and this female has been trying to get into the compound.
The bird shocks me every time, because there is some low grass cover over the variably colored gravel, so she is always well-hidden. I feel like a hound dog, flushing it out every time I walk by. If I try to get a picture, it never flies away, but instead just runs around to the other end of the caged area.
Well camouflaged...
The pheasants are an introduced species (in the 1880's), and they have spread all over the United States. They are of course one of the most popular of game birds, and it isn't unusual to see them in the grassy tussocks around the dairy farms I drive through on the morning commute (saw one this morning, but in the heavy fog with nowhere to park, I didn't even try for a picture).

In any case, I hope this poor pheasant gets her wish (either, I imagine, to get sneak in, or to engineer a jail break for the rest of the flock to get them all out).

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