Ring-necked Pheasant males in the snow

Male Ring-necked Pheasant running down a snow bank

 Male Ring-necked Pheasant running down a snow bank – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

Ring-necked Pheasant males are far more colorful than the females and in snow they seem even more vividly colored. These upland game birds are foraging for food in the open right now because the deep snow has buried their food and I have been seeing them feeding along the road where the snow has been plowed or very close to vegetation where they can dig through the snow to find seeds from the plants.

Ring-necked Pheasant male

 Ring-necked Pheasant male – Nikon D300, f9, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 321mm, natural light, not baited or called in

Two days ago I posted a female Ring-necked Pheasant in the snow and mentioned that there were males nearby, this is one of the males.

One of my early childhood memories is of my grandfather using Ring-necked Pheasant feathers to make fishing flies, watching him tying the flies fascinated me.  I didn’t know then how much patience that required.

I normally see far more female Ring-necked Pheasants than males so I am always happy when I am able to find a male in good light and out in the open.



  1. Wally January 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I’ll never forget my first glimpse of a Ring-necked Pheasant. I lived in upstate New York for a time and while wandering through a field I flushed a pheasant. After trying to get my heart started again, I marveled at such a beautiful bird. I was born and raised in south and central Florida and we had no such animals!
    Wonderful photographs.


    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Wally, I remember wishing I could see pheasants while I lived in Florida. I don’t think they can take the heat down there well. I bet that pheasant gave your ticker a jolt!

  2. Jan January 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Also wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Liebster Award – see http://janellenferrigan.com/ I’m not sure exactly what it means, but I enjoy your blog – cheers and hope the link sends some more people over to your posts.

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you very much Jan!

  3. Sam Brunson January 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Great photos! I agree with Rohrerbot, the Pheasants’s colors against the snow looks amazing.

  4. Jane Chesebrough January 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Yes, it does look great in the snow. I haven’t seen any in the winter-think the coyote got it-they are amazing birds that I discovered have a short lifespan of only 18-24 months.

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Jane, I had read that pheasants don’t have a very long life span too. They sure have plenty of chicks while they are alive though. Thanks for commenting.

  5. eric c11 January 17, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    very nice, good serie mia

  6. Susan January 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Awesome post and photos:)

  7. Merrill Ann Gonzales January 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Seeing pheasants come into view are always a wonderful surprise. I used to live where they would skirt the edge of the woods in the neighbor’s field and that was a very happy time in my life. So your photos bring a double delight… the beauty of the your photography with these wonderful birds and the memory of seeing my own.

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Merrill, I am very glad these images bring back pleasant memories for you, seeing pheasants does that for me too. Thank you!

  8. Eileen January 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Great captures, the colors against the snow are beautiful. It is a gorgeous bird.

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Thanks Eileen, the snow does create a wonderful background and highlights the colors of these game birds!

  9. Tammy Karr January 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    The male has such beautiful colors!

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      I agree Tammy, the males do have beautiful colors. Thanks for commenting.

  10. Bob Bushell January 17, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Brilliant Pheasant in the snow, magnificent photos.

  11. Rohrerbot January 17, 2013 at 9:36 am

    These are gorgeous birds. Their colors against the snow is very striking….great pics.

  12. M. Firpi January 17, 2013 at 8:12 am

    What a visual treat, I wish him well this winter.

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks Maria, these birds usually don’t have a hard time in the winter like the owls do.

  13. Sherry in MT January 17, 2013 at 7:58 am

    As always stunning! That first one almost looks like he’s stuck spinning his (w)heels! Growing up in SD I am a big fan of pheasants!

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Sherry, as I recall these are the state bird of SD! I agree about the first image making it look like he is spinning his (w)heels! Thanks for commenting.

  14. Rachel January 17, 2013 at 7:56 am


  15. judy watson January 17, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I didn’t realize that’s why we are seeing so many this time.
    Great pics!

Comments are closed.