Pheasants seem as American as apple pie, but they were actually brought to America from China in 1881. Early colonists brought pheasants from England, but few of them survived our cold winters. Pheasants are beautiful birds. They look a bit like chickens with long tail feathers and beautiful mottled colors. They are still hunted for their tasty meat.
Pheasants are often a symbol of good luck. Legend has it that a Burmese hunter once found an emerald in a pheasant. When he went back to the pheasant’s home, he found an emerald mine.
Fun Facts about Pheasants for Kids
- English aristocrats raised pheasants for hunts. Only the wealthy were invited to these hunts, while poor people often starved in nearby villages. Sometimes, the poor would poach the pheasants at night. Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl, is a hilarious account of pheasant poaching in England.
- Pheasants can fly for short distances. Most of the time, they hide in grasslands and stay on the ground.
- Pheasants build their nests on the ground.
- Pheasants eat seeds, grain and insects.
- Colonist: early settler
- Mottled: spotted or marked
- Symbol: stands for something else
- Emerald: green stone
- Aristocrat: wealthy person of high standing
- Poach: steal
Learn More All About Pheasants
Have a look at this short clip of a day with a ring neck pheasant:
A documentary video about the life of a pheasant.
Question: How long do pheasants live?
Answer: Pheasants usually live only 1 year.
Question: Do pheasants have other predators besides humans?