Pheasant - Phasianus colchicus


    A large, long-tailed game bird. 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 pale brown and black. Pheasants are native to Asia but they were introduced to the UK long ago and more recent introductions have brought in a variety of races and breeds for sport shooting.

    Identification difficulty

    Across most of the UK, apart from the far north and west of Scotland. Least common in upland and urban. Usually seen in the open countryside near woodland edges, copses and hedgerows.

    When to see it

    All year round

    Life History

    Pheasants feed solely on the ground but roost in sheltered trees at night. They eat a wide variety of animal and vegetable type-food, like fruit, seeds and leaves as well as a wide range of invertebrates.

    UK Status

    Common and widespread in most of Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common as a breeding bird in Leicestershire and Rutland, with numbers boosted by feral birds.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map