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Pheasant woes

Up until two days ago our resident pheasant was often strutting about, making a lot of noise and had five females in tow. Recently though we seem to only see a couple of females and he's kind of lost interest, mooches around the garden, doesn't make any noise and sort of looks sad. He ventures very close to us and begrudgingly moves but has lost his mojo so to speak.

I assume he lost out in fight and has wounded pride and lost the females as a result. Can they be affected like this? any ideas?



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,175
    I think you’ll find that the females are nesting. We have two males in our garden and an unknown number if females. Every year the females go off into the depths of the epimediums and disappear for a while. The foxes and badgers usually clean up the eggs before they hatch, but we did have one youngster who made it last year.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Do you feed him? Is he making any noise at all, like a quieter cooing sound? If he's out and about he's unlikely to be injured, it could be moulting coming on. As pansyface says, it's also nesting time so check directly on the ground under bushes and in foliage for eggs. Pheasants do change behavior this time of year, going from the big noisy wing beating to much quieter and calmer.

    It also depends if your pheasants are truly wild or are from a shooting thing. If the latter, they may have found their food supply cut off because the shoot owners could stop paying for seed after the shooting season ends in Feb/March ish, so their behavior changes for that too.

    I have a friendly pheasant too, he turns up daily for food every year, and always disappears off with females around this time too.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,079
    If his females are nesting in the vicinity he’ll be trying not to draw attention to himself or them. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • batwood14batwood14 Posts: 193
    ah I see thanks indeed @Dovefromabove, @strelitzia32 @pansyface that explains it - he's a bit perkier today and has one female around but what you all say seems in order. I don't specifically feed them but they do mop up all the spilt birdseed from 6 feeders I have. Better these guys than wood/feral pigeons and besides lovely to look at.
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