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Common Pheasant - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Phasianus colchicus)

Alternative name: Ring-necked Pheasant

Photo © by Marmot
April 2002
Phasianus colchicus


Photo © by postcardcv

Male 75–89 cm (29½-35 in); female 53–62 cm (20¾-24½ in)

  • The long tail, often accounting for half the total length


  • Barred bright brown plumage with green, purple and white markings
  • White ring around the neck
  • Green head with red patches

Female - duller mottled brown plumage


Native to many areas of Asia. Introduced to USA, Canada, Hawaii, Europe, Bahamas, Morocco, Cuba, Australia, and New Zealand.


Green Pheasant from Japan is sometimes included in this species.


Photo © by G6 UXU
RSPB Leighton Moss, Lancashire, August 2018
Photo © by tracker
Lancashire, February 2008

Around 30 subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • P. c. septentrionalis: Northern Caucasus
  • P. c. colchicus: Eastern Georgia to northeastern Azerbaijan, southern Armenia and northwestern Iran
  • P. c. talischensis: South-eastern Transcaucasia
  • P. c. persicus: South-western Transcaspia
  • P. c. turcestanicus: Southern Kazakstan (Syr Darya Valley) southeast to the Fergana Basin in eastern Uzbekistan and the borders of Kyrgyzstan
  • P. c. mongolicus: North-eastern Russian Turkestan
  • P. c. principalis: Southern Russian Turkestan and northern Afghanistan
  • P. c. chrysomelas: Turkestan (upper River Amudar'ya)
  • P. c. zerafschanicus: Southern Uzbekistan (Bukhara and Zerafshan Valley)
  • P. c. zarudnyi: Turkestan (valleys of central Amudar'ya)
  • P. c. bianchii: Turkestan (Amudar'ya delta)
  • P. c. shawii: Chinese Turkestan
  • P. c. tarimensis: East-central Chinese Turkestan
  • P. c. hagenbecki: North-western Mongolia
  • P. c. edzinensis: South-central Mongolia
  • P. c. satscheuensis: North-central China (extreme western Gansu)
  • P. c. vlangalii: North-central China (northern Qinghai)
  • P. c. alaschanicus: North-central China (foothills of Alaschan Mountains)
  • P. c. sohokhotensis: North-central China (Sohokhoto Oasis and Qilian Shan)
  • P. c. pallasi: South-eastern Siberia and north-eastern China
  • P. c. karpowi: North-eastern China (southern Manchuria and northern Liaoning) to Korea
  • P. c. kiangsuensis: North-eastern China (northern Shanxi and Shaanxi) to south-eastern Mongolia
  • P. c. strauchi: Central China (southern Shaanxi and southern Gansu)
  • P. c. suehschanensis: West-central China (north-western Sichuan)
  • P. c. elegans: West-central China (western Sichuan)
  • P. c. decollatus: Central China (Sichuan to Liaoning, north-eastern Yunnan and Guizhou)
  • P. c. torquatus: Eastern China (Shandong) to Vietnam border
  • P. c. rothschildi: South-western China (eastern Yunnan) and northern Vietnam
  • P. c. takatsukasae: Southern China and northern Vietnam
  • P. c. formosanus: Taiwan

Pheasants representing a mixture of P. c. colchicus, P. c. torquatus, and other subspecies now are widely introduced around the world, including across Europe, on New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, and North America


Woodland and scrub.



Ground feeders. The diet includes grain, leaves and invertebrates.


They roost in trees. They nest on the ground; about 10 eggs are laid over a period of 14-21 days in April-June. The eggs are incubated for 23-26 days.



  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. New World Encyclopaedia
  3. Animal Pictures Archive

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.