The state bird of South
Dakota, and for good reason (economically anyway). Ring-necked Pheasant hunting in the state is renowned,
attracting thousands of out of state hunters and bringing millions of dollars of
revenue into the state. The Ring-necked Pheasant is an introduced species,
native to Asia. It was first introduced into the United States in 1857,
and has become well established throughout much of the Midwest, the Plains
states, and parts of the West. The photo on the right shows a mature male
and a female.
Habitat: Nearly all open upland habitat
in the state, including farm fields, rangeland, brush, woodland edges,
Diet: Omnivorous, feeding on grains, seeds, roots,
berries, buds, acorns, insects, earthworms, snails, and occasionally mice,
snakes, and frogs.
Behavior: Nearly always forages on the ground,
often scratching on the ground with feet or bill to find food.
Nesting: May through June. The nest is a shallow
depression lined with vegetative material such as grasses and weeds, placed on
the ground in dense cover. The female lays between 7 and 14 eggs, and she
alone incubates them. When the eggs hatch, the young leave the nest almost
immediately, with the female tending to the young. The young feed themselves
while under the female's care.
Song: Harsh croaking notes when alarmed. Males make loud crowing khaaaa-cack.
Migration: Permanent Resident
Similar Species: Males enerally distinctive.
Females could possibly be confused with
Sharp-tailed Grouse or
Greater Prairie Chicken.
Feeders: Ring-necked Pheasants will sometimes
visit feeders for various seeds scattered on the ground.
Status: Abundant and widespread.
The IUCN lists the
Ring-necked Pheasant as a species of "Least Concern".
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Ring-necked Pheasant"
Photo Information: February 16th, 2004 --
Near Presho -- Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Ring-necked Pheasant