Male Ring-necked Pheasant Portrait

Male Ring-necked PheasantMale Ring-necked Pheasant Portrait- Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Male Ring-necked Pheasants are a bold splash of rainbow colors against the white snow laying on the ground right now at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area. Ring-necked Pheasants are not native to North America, the game birds were introduced from Asia in the 1880’s. I can remember inadvertently flushing them when I would walk on the dirt road to explore the woods behind my grandparents house in Michigan as a very young girl and enjoying being able to see their beautiful colors in flight. They are quite noisy when they take flight!

It was a slow morning for birds yesterday but when I spotted this male Ring-necked Pheasant out in the open I couldn’t resist taking some portrait shots of him especially since even when I zoomed back to 200mm I couldn’t fit him all into the frame. When given the opportunity I often try to take portrait images because it allows me to see the finer details of the face of the bird or even the melted snow on the bill of the male. Besides; there is no way I could get this close to a wild pheasant on foot!



  1. [email protected] December 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    That’s amazing you got this pose! What a gorgeous illustration of this bird and his plumage. The nuance is just incredible. The pheasants I see are so very skittish most probably because they’re in pheasant release areas.

  2. Elephant's Child December 17, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    How very, very beautiful. Thank you.

  3. Jane Chesebrough December 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Mia; now THAT is a phenomenal shot!Never seen anything so sharp.

  4. Stu December 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    A Photographic Painting …. You are a true Artist Mia..

  5. Ken schneider December 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Splendid feather detail and color!

  6. eileen December 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Mia, lovely shot of the Pheasant. Love the detail on the feathers! He is handsome. Awesome shot!

  7. Bob Bushell December 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Beautiful image.

  8. MariaF. December 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    These colors are simply spectacular, so vibrant for a painting.

  9. Elizabeth December 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I am so jealous. For four years I’ve been trying to get a decent shot with no success. I see them all the time, but it’s usually after I’ve accidentally flushed one and they’ve scared me to death. Beautiful picture!

  10. Utahbooklover December 17, 2013 at 11:07 am

    To think this beauty is due to choosy females, as this quote from Wikipedia mentions: “Birds use visual stimuli such as bright colors or large ornamentation for socio-sexual communication as well as species recognition.[8] These ornaments can be considered ‘honest’ signs of fitness because they are often costly to produce and show that the individual is healthy enough to mate with the choosing female.[2]” Beautiful image Mia!

  11. Jerry Liguori December 17, 2013 at 10:25 am

    What an intricate plumage…it almost doesn’t work, like it is too random as if a kid drew it, but it is beautiful.

  12. Lois Bryan December 17, 2013 at 9:09 am

    he’s a beauty, Mia … what an experience you had!!!!! Just to SEE one of these guys … much less get a capture like this!! WOW!!!!!!

  13. Patty Chadwick December 17, 2013 at 8:17 am

    He’s a handsome dude! I remember walking through our field and practically stepping on these birds. When they’d suddenly flush right in front of me, with a loud WHOOSH! my heart would almost stop! One male was so busy running from one side of the field to the other, trying to chase other males away, that we were afraid he’d starve. We’d watch from my father’s studio and wonder if he’d ever take time out to eat…

  14. Rachel LeBlanc December 17, 2013 at 7:51 am

    What a handsome young man!

  15. Jennifer December 17, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Beauty! And I so impressed that you managed to get so close!

  16. John Randall December 17, 2013 at 7:04 am

    A Regal Portrait ! Well Done Mia !

  17. judy watson December 17, 2013 at 6:04 am

    He’s sooo beautiful!

  18. Montanagirl December 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Incredibly beautiful portrait. The lighting is just right – you did a fine job, my friend!

  19. eric c11 December 17, 2013 at 5:31 am

    ohh, it s beautifull portrait, so nice details and colors, well done mia =))
    have a nice day ☼

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