Male Ring-necked Pheasant Portraits

Male Ring-necked Pheasant close upMale Ring-necked Pheasant close up – Nikon D810, f9, 1/320, ISO 200, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

All of these male Ring-necked Pheasant portraits were taken yesterday morning at Farmington Bay WMA in the snow at 5°F. When it gets that cold I have found that birds become sticky which simply means they stick around longer than they do in warmer temps. And this male Ring-necked Pheasant probably couldn’t have been any stickier than he was.

Portrait of a male Ring-necked PheasantPortrait of a male Ring-necked Pheasant – Nikon D810, f11, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

The pheasant was so close that I decided to take portraits of him because with my bird gear combo I couldn’t fit his entire body into the frame even when I took off my teleconverter.  Another challenge was getting the pheasant exposed well without completely blowing out the snow in the background or losing all the detail in the white plumage around his neck and above his eye.

Ring-necked Pheasant yawningRing-necked Pheasant yawning – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 200, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I couldn’t resist sharing this last portrait because the pheasant was yawning and this frame showed the inside of the bird’s bill and its tongue along with a few snowflakes on his back plus one on the tip of his lower mandible. I know this image looks a little goofy but I would much rather view this than the crazy (self-absorbed) duck-lipped selfies I see on line these days.

I did take a few full body images of this pheasant using my backup camera body and wide angle lens but found that I liked these portraits the most.

Life is good



  1. dave sparks December 18, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Wow! Wonderful detail in these images.

  2. Elephant's Child December 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Love it.
    And I have always been tickled to learn that the French call selfies ‘braggies’. Despite the perpetraitors not having a lot to brag about.

  3. Patty Chadwick December 18, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Beautiful portraits of a beautiful bird! I NEVER. See one anymore…I do see a lot of those idiotic, self-absorbed “selfies”..what a turn off!!! They disgust me! One aquaintance is lucky enough to travel all over the world with her husband (who works for a non-profit…hmmmm!). All of their pictures are close ups of the two of them standing in front of something you can barely make out! Who cares? What a bummer!!!

  4. mike kutsch December 18, 2015 at 9:08 am

    There is no more beautiful bird in the wild than a ring neck pheasant, I have loved seeing this bird all my life. Thank you for bringing back many memories.

  5. Cindy December 18, 2015 at 9:05 am

    The pheasants we used to have have been gone for years now due to over development. If they’re here, I haven’t seen any. How funny to see him yawn as if he’s almost conveying, okay, one more shot and then you’re done Mia. 🙂 Such color and pattern and yes, I agree on the duck lips. Not pretty and beaks far surpass them. 🙂

  6. Jo Smith December 18, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Beautiful images. I don’t understand how you drive let alone go out in weather like that. Our roads would all be impassable.

  7. Liz Cormack December 18, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Absolutely stunning!!!!!!

  8. Nancy Collins December 18, 2015 at 6:06 am

    Love the portraits Mia. The colors and patterns of this bird are fabulous! 5 degrees F – Now that’s cold!!!

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