LAMPLIGHT FEATHER, INC.
Your Trusted USA Supplier of Premium Decorative Feathers
A family owned business since 1973. An online feather store since 2001 as www.tonyhill.net
The ring-necked pheasant (or ringneck) is a ground-dwelling, gallinaceous (chicken-like) bird of Asia first introduced into the United States prior to the 1800s. By the 1880s, wild ring-necked pheasants had become established in sustainable breeding populations within the United States and have remained one of the most popular and sought after upland game birds in central and northern regions of the country. The ring-necked’s exceptional quality as table fare, coupled with its high resistance to parasites and diseases common in ground-feeding birds, makes this colorful game bird both highly desirable and very manageable.
Also characteristic of the ring-necked is its ability to share similar niches with many native grassland and farmland community wildlife species. One exception has been its interaction with native prairie chickens – pheasant males can disrupt prairie chicken "leks" (male mating gatherings) and pheasant hens may lay eggs in prairie chicken nests. Consequently, efforts to repatriate prairie chickens in some areas may require prior removal of pheasants.
The ring-necked is highly dependent on habitats in and around croplands and agricultural landscapes. Significant changes in farming practices within the last half of the twentieth century have had detrimental effects on ring-necked pheasant populations. Removal of overgrown hedgerows and fence rows from agricultural fields and other “clean farming” practices and the conversion of open, native grass- lands and other idle habitat to introduced grasses and developed lands have contributed to a loss of nesting and protective cover resulting in population declines. The greater use of agri-chemicals, increased grazing pressure, intensive fire control, and the spraying and mowing of highway and utility rights-of-way have contributed to reducing ring-necked pheasant populations as well. However, intensive habitat management and conservation programs that improve pheasant habitat like the USDA Conservation Reserve Program have greatly improved pheasant populations in many areas in recent years. Continued efforts to increase pheasant populations on private lands may help to secure a stable future for this valued game bird.
Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus):
The Golden Pheasant has been bred as a captive bird by Europeans at least since 1740 and it has been recorded in Chinese tradition and art for centuries before that. to be brought to North America. These beautiful birds are native to mountain ranges in central China, and though they are quite common as captive birds, surprisingly little is known about their natural habits. Golden Pheasants inhabit nearly inaccessible habitats. Filled with dense vegetation, often the wooded mountain ledges and slopes these birds live on are treacherous and rocky. As a result, little is known about their habitats, though it is certain that they share their ranges with other birds. Golden Pheasants tend to be somewhat secretive. They can fly but these birds are actually more graceful on the ground. The courtship display of the Golden Pheasant male is a colorful sight as it flattens and spreads its gorgeous plumage. Today, many Golden Pheasants have been crossed with Lady Amherst Pheasants and other pheasants, and it may be difficult to find true purebreds.
The Reeves (or Venery) Pheasant is from Central China and prefers a habitat of open woodland. It is a popular aviary and estate bird due to it's amazing tail feathers which can reach nearly 6 feet (2 meters) long. In captivity they are perfectly happy in an aviary of approximately 250 square feet or over. In too small a pen the cock's tremendous tail will be easily damaged.
The colors of the cock may not be quite as bright or iridescent as some other species and he lacks a crest and face wattles but his extra long tail and ornate markings certainly make him a stunning bird.
The Reeve's cock pheasant has a white head adorned with a black choker and a second prominent black band surrounding the eyes like a Venetian mask . His body is mainly a shade of deep dark yellow with a black border around each feather. He also has some white on his wings and a rich dark chestnut on the breast. The tail is mainly white with black barring.
The Reeve's hen is a pretty bird much paler than the cock but heavily mottled. She has a creamy yellow head with a brown cap and markings round the eyes to the back of the head.
Lady Amherst Pheasant ( Chrysolophus amherstiae):
The Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Chrysolophus amherstiae, is a bird of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae. These are native to south western China and Myanmar and remain widespread throughout its large native range. This hardy breed has been introduced elsewhere and have established a self-supporting wild population in parts of England centered around Bedfordshire.
The adult male is 100-120 cm in length, its tail accounting for 80 cm of the total length. It is unmistakable with its black and silver head, long grey tail and rump, and red, blue, white and yellow body plumage. The "cape" can be raised in display.This species is closely related to the Golden Pheasant and the introduced populations in England will interbreed.
The female is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over, similar to that of the female Common Pheasant but with finer barring. She is very like the female Golden Pheasant, but has a darker head and cleaner underparts than the hen of that species.Despite the male's showy appearance, these birds are very difficult to see in their natural habitat, which is dense, dark forests with thick undergrowth. Consequently, little is known of their behaviour in the wild.They feed on the ground on grain, leaves and invertebrates, but roost in trees at night. They can fly but they prefer to run, but if startled they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed, with a distinctive wing sound. The male has a gruff call in the breeding season.
The name commemorates Sarah Countess Amherst, wife of William Pitt Amherst, Governor General of Bengal, who was responsible for sending the first specimen of the bird to London in 1828.
Silver Pheasant (Lophura nycthemera):
The Silver Pheasant is a species of pheasant that can be found mainly in the mountains of mainland Southeast Asia, as well as in the southern and eastern part of China. In addition, some populations have been introduced in Hawaii and other areas in the United States. The male features a black and white color pattern while the female is mostly brown. Both of the sexes have red legs and a red face. The silver pheasant has 15 subspecies and most of them are relatively distinctive.
It is a rather large type of pheasant and the males belonging to the largest subspecies have a total length of at least 47 to 49 inches (120 to 125 cm), with a tail that can measure even 30 inches (75 cm). On the opposite side, the smallest of the subspecies rarely reach 28 inches (70 cm), with a tail of up to 12 inches (30 cm). The silver pheasant females are smaller in comparison to the males, the largest one being able to reach approximately 28 inches (70 cm).
The males belonging to the northern species, which are the largest among other species, feature white upperparts and tail, while their underparts and the crest are glossy bluish-black. The southern species male has greyer upperparts and a tail that features extensive black markings. Females are brown and have a shorter tail while some of the subspecies have whitish underparts with black patterns. The silver pheasant feathers are being used for creating decorations for tables, vases, walls and others. The male feathers are white on the upper half and tail, while its bottom half is blueish-black.
The elongated feathers extend to the rear neck. The female's feathers are broadly edged creamy-white.
The silver pheasant eats plant matter like fruits and seeds. In search for food, it will scratch the ground with the feet and from time to time it will dig with the bill. According to the season, it will also eat invertebrates. They usually eat in the morning hours of the day as well as in the evening.
It is a terrestrial bird that does not fly often, but if disturbed will take off in order to reach a covered area.
The breeding season varies according to the range. They nest on the ground and the clutch contains 6 up to 9 eggs. The species is known to breed in small groups and the silver pheasant chicks will hatch during the wet season of the year. Incubation lasts in captivity approximately 25-26 days. The parents only guide them in searching the food sources and protect them from potential predators.