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Strange looking hen (?) pheasant (1 Viewer)

ahoare

Active member
Hello, I spotted what initially looked like a crow in the long grass in my field the other day but to my surprise it was, I think, a hen pheasant. A cock was nearby. I saw it later with a cock bird feeding on the lawn and having binoculars this time, saw its plumage was a very dark blue/purple in the sunlight. Although it had a tail, it was not as long as a normal cock's and seen side by side, I would say it was half the size. I have attached a very short and, I'm afraid, not very good video. Melanistic hen?
 

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  • IMG_3505.MOV
    7.4 MB

Butty

Well-known member
All I can comment on is:
a) the video - which seems to show a normal adult male common pheasant. and
b) that size-comparisons are often inexplicably-odd things, even between birds near each other.
 

ahoare

Active member
I managed to get closer to them both just now. See attached.
 

Attachments

  • C79ABA15-9AC3-41DC-AD85-E6F745E0E254.jpeg
    C79ABA15-9AC3-41DC-AD85-E6F745E0E254.jpeg
    8.5 MB · Views: 30
  • IMG_3525.MOV
    6.7 MB

Butty

Well-known member
I managed to get closer to them both just now. See attached.
The dark one seems to have a patch of glossy male-type plumage on its neck and to be otherwise female-type - but darker. I'd've thought males (dark types or otherwise) hatched last year would all be in adult plumage by now, but . . . this is a non-wild population involving selectively-bred birds, so I wouldn't make any assumptions about anything (age or sex) here.
The apparent size difference is due largely to the different degrees of feather-ruffling (the regular-plumage bird is semi-display mode).
 

ahoare

Active member
Thanks everyone. I’ll check with a local keeper as one of them probably put it down in the first place. We always get survivors/escapees at this time of year.
 

_pauls

Well-known member
My parents lived adjacent to a managed moor where pheasants were bred and released (and often wandered into their garden) and I would not be surprised at any plumage there!
 

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