Skip to main content
Select Source:

pheasant

pheasant, common name for some members of a family (Phasianidae) of henlike birds related to the grouse and including the Old World partridge, the peacock, various domestic and jungle fowls, and the true pheasants (genus Phasianus). Pheasants are characterized by their wattled heads and long tails and by the brilliant plumage and elaborate courtship displays of the male. They are all indigenous to Asia, chiefly India. The English pheasant, introduced from the Black Sea area before 1056, has been interbred with both the Chinese ring-necked and the Japanese pheasants, and the hybrid ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus, is established as a common game bird in the N United States. It eats berries, seeds, young shoots, and insects and prefers open country with brush cover. The body of the male ring-necked pheasant is mostly reddish brown, the head and neck an iridescent dark green, the face red, and the neck ringed with white. The protectively colored hen is distinguished from the grouse by her long tail. The closely related ruffed grouse is called pheasant in the central and S United States. Asian pheasants of great beauty are the argus (Argusianus argus), the golden (Chrysolophus pictus), the silver (Gennaeus nycthemerus), and the Lady Amherst (C. amherstiae), all of which inhabit the Himalayas—as do the Reeves pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii), with an 8-ft (2.4-m) tail, the unique tree-dwelling Impeyan pheasant (Tophophorus impejanus), and the tragopan, or horned, pheasant (Tragopan temmincki). Pheasants are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Galliformes, family Phasianidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pheasant." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pheasant." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pheasant

"pheasant." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pheasant

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

pheasant

pheasant Game bird, Phasianus colchicus and related spp. Total weight 1.5 kg; traditionally sold as a brace, i.e. cock and hen, although now commonly available as single birds; usually hung for 3 days (up to 3 weeks in very cold weather) to develop flavour. A 150‐g portion is an extremely rich source of iron; a rich source of protein, niacin, and vitamin B2; contains about 15 g of fat of which one‐third is saturated, and supplies 330 kcal (1400 kJ).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pheasant." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pheasant." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pheasant

"pheasant." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pheasant

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

pheasant

pheasant Gamebird of the genus Phasianus originally native to Asia, introduced into Europe and naturalized in North America. Peacocks and guinea fowl belong to the same family. Males are showy, with brownish green, red and yellow feathers; females are smaller and brownish. Length: up to 89cm (35in). Family Phasianidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pheasant." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pheasant." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pheasant

"pheasant." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pheasant

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

pheasant

pheas·ant / ˈfezənt/ • n. a large long-tailed game bird (family Phasianidae) native to Asia, the male of which typically has very showy plumage. Its several species include the widely introduced ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pheasant." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pheasant." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pheasant-0

"pheasant." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pheasant-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

pheasant

pheasant XIII. — AN. fesaunt, for (O)F. faisan — Pr.:- L. phāsiānus — Gr. phāsiānós of Phasis, a river in Colchis, whence the bird is said to have spread westwards. For parasitic -t cf. ancient, pageant, tyrant.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pheasant." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pheasant." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pheasant-1

"pheasant." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pheasant-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

pheasants

pheasants See PHASIANIDAE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pheasants." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pheasants." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pheasants

"pheasants." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pheasants

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

pheasant

pheasantabeyant, mayn't •ambient, circumambient •gradient, irradiant, radiant •expedient, ingredient, mediant, obedient •valiant • salient • resilient • emollient •defoliant • ebullient • suppliant •convenient, intervenient, lenient, prevenient •sapient •impercipient, incipient, percipient, recipient •recreant • variant • miscreant •Orient • nutrient •esurient, luxuriant, parturient, prurient •nescient, prescient •omniscient • insouciant • renunciant •officiant • negotiant • deviant •subservient • transient •affiant, Bryant, client, compliant, defiant, giant, pliant, reliant •buoyant, clairvoyant, flamboyant •fluent, pursuant, truant •affluent • effluent • mellifluent •confluent • circumfluent • congruent •issuant • continuant • constituent •lambent • absorbent •incumbent, recumbent •couchant • merchant • hadn't •ardent, guardant, regardant •pedant •appendant, ascendant, attendant, codependent, defendant, descendant, descendent, intendant, interdependent, pendant, pendent, splendent, superintendent, transcendent •antecedent, decedent, needn't, precedent •didn't • diffident • confident •accident • dissident •coincident, incident •oxidant • evident •improvident, provident •president, resident •strident, trident •co-respondent, correspondent, despondent, fondant, respondent •accordant, concordant, discordant, mordant, mordent •rodent •imprudent, jurisprudent, prudent, student •couldn't, shouldn't, wouldn't •impudent •abundant, redundant •decadent • verdant • infant • elephant •triumphant • sycophant • elegant •fumigant • congregant • litigant •termagant • arrogant • extravagant •pageant •cotangent, plangent, tangent •argent, Sargent, sergeant •agent • newsagent • regent •astringent, contingent, stringent •indigent • intelligent • negligent •diligent • intransigent • exigent •cogent •effulgent, fulgent, indulgent •pungent •convergent, detergent, divergent, emergent, insurgent, resurgent, urgent •bacchant • peccant • vacant • piquant •predicant • mendicant • significant •applicant • supplicant • communicant •lubricant • desiccant • intoxicant •gallant, talent •appellant, propellant, propellent, repellent, water-repellent •resemblant •assailant, inhalant •sealant • sibilant • jubilant •flagellant • vigilant • pestilent •silent •Solent, volant •coolant • virulent • purulent •ambulant, somnambulant •coagulant • crapulent • flatulent •feculent • esculent • petulant •stimulant • flocculent • opulent •postulant • fraudulent • corpulent •undulant •succulent, truculent •turbulent • violent • redolent •indolent • somnolent • excellent •insolent • nonchalant •benevolent, malevolent, prevalent •ambivalent, equivalent •garment • clement • segment •claimant, clamant, payment, raiment •ailment •figment, pigment •fitment • aliment • element •oddment •dormant, informant •moment • adamant • stagnant •lieutenant, pennant, subtenant, tenant •pregnant, regnant •remnant • complainant •benignant, indignant, malignant •recombinant • contaminant •eminent •discriminant, imminent •dominant, prominent •illuminant, ruminant •determinant • abstinent •continent, subcontinent •appurtenant, impertinent, pertinent •revenant •component, deponent, exponent, opponent, proponent •oppugnant, repugnant •immanent •impermanent, permanent •dissonant • consonant • alternant •covenant • resonant • rampant •discrepant • flippant • participant •occupant • serpent •apparent, arrant, transparent •Arendt •aberrant, deterrent, errant, inherent, knight-errant •entrant •declarant, parent •grandparent • step-parent •godparent •flagrant, fragrant, vagrant •registrant • celebrant • emigrant •immigrant • ministrant • aspirant •antiperspirant • recalcitrant •integrant • tyrant • vibrant • hydrant •migrant, transmigrant •abhorrent, torrent, warrant •quadrant • figurant • obscurant •blackcurrant, concurrent, currant, current, occurrent, redcurrant •white currant • cross-current •undercurrent •adherent, coherent, sederunt •exuberant, protuberant •reverberant • denaturant •preponderant • deodorant •different, vociferant •belligerent, refrigerant •accelerant • tolerant • cormorant •itinerant • ignorant • cooperant •expectorant • adulterant •irreverent, reverent •nascent, passant •absent •accent, relaxant •acquiescent, adolescent, albescent, Besant, coalescent, confessant, convalescent, crescent, depressant, effervescent, erubescent, evanescent, excrescent, flavescent, fluorescent, immunosuppressant, incandescent, incessant, iridescent, juvenescent, lactescent, liquescent, luminescent, nigrescent, obsolescent, opalescent, pearlescent, phosphorescent, pubescent, putrescent, quiescent, suppressant, tumescent, turgescent, virescent, viridescent •adjacent, complacent, obeisant •decent, recent •impuissant, reminiscent •Vincent • puissant •beneficent, maleficent •magnificent, munificent •Millicent • concupiscent • reticent •docent •lucent, translucent •discussant, mustn't •innocent •conversant, versant •consentient, sentient, trenchant •impatient, patient •ancient • outpatient •coefficient, deficient, efficient, proficient, sufficient •quotient • patent •interactant, reactant •disinfectant, expectant, protectant •repentant • acceptant •contestant, decongestant •sextant •blatant, latent •intermittent •assistant, coexistent, consistent, distant, equidistant, existent, insistent, persistent, resistant, subsistent, water-resistant •instant •cohabitant, habitant •exorbitant • militant • concomitant •impenitent, penitent •palpitant • crepitant • precipitant •competent, omnicompetent •irritant • incapacitant • Protestant •hesitant • visitant • mightn't • octant •remontant • constant •important, oughtn't •accountant • potent •mutant, pollutant •adjutant • executant • disputant •reluctant •consultant, exultant, resultant •combatant • omnipotent • impotent •inadvertent •Havant, haven't, savant, savante •advent •irrelevant, relevant •pursuivant • solvent • convent •adjuvant •fervent, observant, servant •manservant • maidservant •frequent, sequent •delinquent • consequent •subsequent • unguent • eloquent •grandiloquent, magniloquent •brilliant • poignant • hasn't •bezant, omnipresent, peasant, pheasant, pleasant, present •complaisant • malfeasant • isn't •cognizant • wasn't • recusant •doesn't

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pheasant." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pheasant." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pheasant

"pheasant." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pheasant

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Pheasant

PHEASANT

PHEASANT , the game bird Phasianus colchicus. The pheasant was known in Greek as Φασιανός and hence in mishnaic Hebrew as פַּסְיוֹנִי (pasyoni). It is not mentioned in the Bible, although pseudo-Jonathan identified it with the biblical שְׂלָו (selav; Ex. 16:13), which is, however, the *quail. The pheasant was originally found in Asia, from the shores of the Caspian Sea to Manchuria and Japan. It was brought to Europe and America where, acclimatized in forests, it became a notable game bird. The Romans set great store upon its flesh, and it is told that when the emperor Hadrian doubted whether there were also pheasants in Ereẓ Israel, R. Joshua b. Hananiah produced some to prove to him "that Ereẓ Israel lacks nothing" (Eccles. R. 2:8, no. 2). Whether these particular pheasants existed in a wild state in the country or were bred cannot be determined, although from other sources it is evident that they were bred together with peacocks (Tosef., Kil 1:8), this having been a sign of wealth (Eccles. R. 7:8). The pheasant is listed in the Midrash among those rare delicacies, the taste of which the manna could acquire should a person yearn for it (Num. R. 7:4). In connection with the command to honor one's father, it was said: "One may give his father pheasants as food, yet this drives him from the world, while another may make him grind in the mill, and this brings him to the world to come" (Kid. 31a). In several communities in Europe the Jews ate the pheasant, which has the characteristics of a kasher bird. An attempt was made in recent years to breed it in Israel, but the rabbinate cast doubt on its kashrut for lack of local tradition to that effect (see *Dietary Laws).

bibliography:

Lewysohn, Zool, 213f.; Feliks, in: Teva va-Areẓ, 8 (1965/66), 326–32.

[Jehuda Feliks]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pheasant." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pheasant." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pheasant

"Pheasant." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pheasant

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Pheasants

Pheasants

Species of pheasants

Pheasants and people

Resources

Pheasants are large species of fowl in the family Phasianidae, which also includes the partridges, pea-fowl, guineafowl, francolins, and quail. The greatest diversity of pheasants occurs in Asia, but native species also occur in Africa and Europe. In addition, many species of pheasants have been widely introduced as game birds beyond their natural range. Pheasants are also kept as handsome show birds in zoos, parks, and private aviaries.

Male pheasants, or cocks, are beautifully colored birds, with a distinctive, long tail that approximately doubles the length of the animal. Their body can be colored in hues and patterns of yellow, orange, golden, red, blue, green, black, or white. Female pheasants, or hens, have a much more subdued and cryptic coloration. Pheasants also have a long neck, a strong beak

that is hooked at the tip, and strong legs and feet for scratching in the forest floor to find their food of fruits, seeds, and invertebrates.

Pheasants are mostly terrestrial birds, foraging widely over the forest floor for food. At night, however, most species roost in trees for safety.

Cock pheasants are strongly territorial during the breeding season. They defend their territory by making loud screeches, cackles, crowings, and squawks. Cock pheasants will also fight each other when necessary, using a sharp spur on the back of their leg as a potentially lethal weapon. Cock pheasants mount spectacular displays to impress potential mates, including elaborate struttings with their colorful finery displayed to its best vantage, with the tail spread widely in some species.

Pheasants are polygynous, meaning a single male will mate with as many females as possible. Competition for mates is very intense in polygynous species, and this commonly leads to the evolution of seemingly bizarre traits in male birds, which are intended to impress the females. Some of these traits may even be maladaptive in terms of everyday life, for example, by making male birds more vulnerable to being found and killed by predators. However, the traits are highly favorable in terms of sexual selection, and this is why they can persist in the population.

Most species of pheasants nest on the ground, but some do so in trees. Female pheasants build the nest, incubate the eggs, and care for the chicks. Pheasant babies are precocious, meaning they can leave the nest soon after birth, following their hen and foraging for themselves. The family group stays in close contact by frequently clucking and peeping at each other. The chicks grow quickly, developing flight feathers and the ability to fly long before they reach adult size.

Species of pheasants

By far, the most familiar pheasant to the largest number of people is the red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus), a wild species of tropical forests in south and southeastern Asia. However, domesticated varieties of this bird are commonly known as the chicken. This bird has been domesticated for thousands of years, and today an estimated 10-11 billion occur in agriculture. In fact, the chicken is probably the worlds most abundant bird, albeit mostly in domestic flocks.

Other than the chicken, the most familiar species of pheasant is the ring-necked or versicolor pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), a species native to Europe and Asia. This species has been introduced as a game bird to many places beyond its natural range. For example, feral populations of ring-necked pheasants occur in many places in temperate regions of North America, as well as in Australia, Africa, and elsewhere. The ring-necked pheasant is now the worlds most widely distributed game bird.

The Japanese pheasant (Phasianus versicolor) is native to Japan, but has been introduced to Europe and elsewhere as a gamebird. The Lady Amhersts pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) is native to Tibet and Burma. This species has a white-and-black extensible neck cape, consisting of a ruff of long feathers on the back of the head, that during courtship displays can be extended into an almost semicircular, downward-hanging fan. The golden pheasant (C. pictus) has a similar neck cape, but it is colored gold-and-black. Both of these birds maintain small, feral populations in England and in other places where they have been introduced.

Many people consider the most spectacular species of pheasant to be the argus pheasant (Argusianus argus) of peninsular Malaya, Borneo, and Sumatra. In this species, the tail is more than twice as long as the body proper, and can be fanned widely in the manner of a peafowl.

Pheasants and people

Some species of pheasants are extremely important economically. The most valuable species, of course, is the domestic chicken. Billions of individuals of this species are eaten each year by people around the world, as are even larger numbers of chicken eggs.

KEY TERMS

Feral This refers to a non-native, often domesticated species that is able to maintain a viable, breeding population in a place that is not part of its natural range, but to which it has been introduced by humans.

Polygyny A breeding system in which a male will attempt to breed with as many females as possible. In birds, the female of a polygynous species usually incubates the eggs and raises the young.

Sexual selection This is a type of natural selection in which anatomical or behavioral traits may be favored because they confer some advantage in courtship or another aspect of breeding. For example, the bright coloration, long tail, and elaborate displays of male pheasants have resulted from sexual selection by females, who apparently favor extreme expressions of these traits in their mates.

Other species of pheasants are important as game birds, and are hunted as a source of wild meat or for sport. However, pheasants can easily be overhunted, so it is important to conserve their populations. In some places, pheasants are raised in captivity and then released to penned or unpenned areas, where people pay a fee to hunt the birds.

Pheasants are also of great aesthetic importance. Various species are kept in captivity in zoos, parks, and private aviaries. This is mostly done for the pure joy and educational value of having such lovely creatures in plain view.

Unfortunately, many species of pheasants are becoming increasingly scarce and even endangered in their native habitats. This is largely the result of local overhunting of the birds, in combination with losses of natural habitat due to the harvesting of trees for valuable timber, and often the subsequent conversion of the land into agricultural and residential uses.

The increasing endangerment of so many beautiful species of pheasants is highly regrettable. This problem is only one facet of the general threat posed by human activities to Earths legacy of biodiversity, and it must be effectively dealt with if species of pheasants are to always live in their wild, natural habitats. The keys to maintaining populations of wild pheasants are to preserve adequate areas of their natural habitat and to control hunting within sustainable limits.

Resources

BOOKS

Beebe, W. Monograph of the Pheasants. New York: Dover Publications, 1991.

del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, and J. Sargatal. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 2, New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, 1994.

Hill, D., and P. Robertson. The Pheasant. Ecology, Management, and Conservation. London: Blackwell Scientific Pubs., 1988.

Howman, K. The Pheasants of the World. Blackie, WA: Hancock House, 1993.

Johnsgard, P.A. The Pheasants of the World. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999.

Sibley, David Allen. The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf, 2000.

Bill Freedman

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pheasants." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pheasants." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pheasants-0

"Pheasants." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pheasants-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Pheasants

Pheasants

Pheasants are large species of fowl in the family Phasianidae, which also includes the partridges , peafowl , guinea fowl , francolins, and quail . The greatest diversity of pheasants occurs in Asia , but native species also occur in Africa and Europe . In addition, many species of pheasants have been widely introduced as gamebirds beyond their natural range. Pheasants are also kept as handsome showbirds in zoos, parks, and private aviaries.

Male pheasants, or cocks, are beautifully colored birds , with a distinctive, long tail that approximately doubles the length of the animal . Their body can be colored in hues and patterns of yellow, orange, golden, red, blue, green, black, or white. Female pheasants, or hens, have a much more subdued and cryptic coloration. Pheasants also have a long neck, a strong beak that is hooked at the tip, and strong legs and feet for scratching in the forest floor to find their food of fruits , seeds , and invertebrates .

Pheasants are mostly terrestrial birds, foraging widely over the forest floor for food. At night, however, most species roost in trees for safety.

Cock pheasants are strongly territorial during the breeding season. They defend their territory by making loud screeches, cackles, crowings, and squawks. Cock pheasants will also fight each other when necessary, using a sharp spur on the back of their leg as a potentially lethal weapon. Cock pheasants mount spectacular displays to impress potential mates, including elaborate struttings with their colorful finery displayed to its best vantage, with the tail spread widely in some species.

Pheasants are polygynous, meaning a single male will mate with as many females as possible. Competition for mates is very intense in polygynous species, and this commonly leads to the evolution of seemingly bizarre traits in male birds, which are intended to impress the females. Some of these traits may even be maladaptive in terms of everyday life, for example, by making male birds more vulnerable to being found and killed by predators. However, the traits are highly favorable in terms of sexual selection , and this is why they can persist in the population.

Most species of pheasants nest on the ground, but some do so in trees. Female pheasants build the nest, incubate the eggs, and care for the chicks. Pheasant babies are precocious, meaning they can leave the nest soon after birth , following their hen and foraging for themselves. The family group stays in close contact by frequently clucking and peeping at each other. The chicks develop quickly, developing flight feathers and the ability to fly long before they reach adult size.

Species of pheasants

By far, the most familiar pheasant to the largest number of people is the red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus), a wild species of tropical forests in South and Southeastern Asia. However, domesticated varieties of this bird are commonly known as the chicken. This bird has been domesticated for thousands of years, and today an estimated 10-11 billion occur in agriculture. In fact, the chicken is probably the world's most abundant bird, albeit mostly in cultivation.

Other than the chicken, the most familiar species of pheasant is the ring-necked or versicolor pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), a species native to Europe and Asia. This species has been introduced as a gamebird to many places beyond its natural range. For example, feral populations of ring-necked pheasants occur in many places in temperate regions of North America , as well as in Australia , Africa, and elsewhere. The ring-necked pheasant is now the world's most widely distributed gamebird.

The Japanese pheasant (Phasianus versicolor) is native to Japan, but has been introduced to Europe and elsewhere as a gamebird.

The Lady Amherst's pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) is native to Tibet and Burma. This species has a white-and-black extensible neck cape, consisting of a ruff of long feathers on the back of the head, that during courtship displays can be extended into an almost semi-circular, downward-hanging fan. The golden pheasant (C. pictus) has a similar neck cape, but it is colored gold-and-black. Both of these birds maintain small, feral populations in England and in other places where they have been introduced.

Many people consider the most spectacular species of pheasant to be the argus pheasant (Argusianus argus) of peninsular Malaya, Borneo, and Sumatra. In this species, the tail is more than twice as long as the body proper, and can be fanned widely in the manner of a peafowl.


Pheasants and people

Some species of pheasants are extremely important economically. The most valuable species, of course, is the domestic chicken. Billions of individuals of this species are eaten each year by people around the world, as are even larger numbers of chicken eggs.

Other species of pheasants are important as game birds, and are hunted as a source of wild meat, or for sport. However, pheasants can easily be overhunted, so it is important to conserve their populations. In some places, pheasants are raised in captivity and then released to penned or unpenned areas, where people pay a fee to hunt the birds.

Pheasants are also of great aesthetic importance. Various species are kept in captivity in zoos, parks, and private aviaries. This is mostly done for the pure joy and educational value of having such lovely creatures in plain view.

Unfortunately, many species of pheasants are becoming increasingly scarce and even endangered in their native habitats. This is largely the result of local over-hunting of the birds, in combination with losses of natural habitat due to the harvesting of trees for valuable timber, and often the subsequent conversion of the land into agricultural and residential uses.

The increasing endangerment of so many beautiful species of pheasants is highly regrettable. This problem is only one facet of the general threat posed by human activities to Earth's legacy of biodiversity , and it must be effectively dealt with if species of pheasants are to always live in their wild, natural habitats. The keys to maintaining populations of wild pheasants are to preserved adequate areas of their natural habitat, and to control hunting within sustainable limits.


Resources

books

Beebe, W. Monograph of the Pheasants. New York: Dover Publications, 1991.

Hill, D., and P. Robertson. The Pheasant. Ecology, Management, and Conservation. London: Blackwell, Sci. Pub., 1988.

Howman, K. The Pheasants of the World. Blackie, WA: Hancock House, 1993.

Sibley, David Allen. The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf, 2000.


Bill Freedman

KEY TERMS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Feral

—This refers to a non-native, often domesticated species that is able to maintain a viable, breeding population in a place that is not part of its natural range, but to which it has been introduced by humans.

Polygyny

—A breeding system in which a male will attempt to breed with as many females as possible. In birds, the female of a polygynous species usually incubates the eggs and raises the young.

Sexual selection

—This is a type of natural selection in which anatomical or behavioral traits may be favored because they confer some advantage in courtship or another aspect of breeding. For example, the bright coloration, long tail, and elaborate displays of male pheasants have resulted from sexual selection by females, who apparently favor extreme expressions of these traits in their mates.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pheasants." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pheasants." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pheasants

"Pheasants." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pheasants

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.