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Couple of days back we had a visitor to our garden. I've never seen this bird before. Does anyone know what this bird is? And does it do any damage to the garden?

Bird picture 1

Bird picture 2

Sorry about the blurry picture. Its due to the mesh door. And I live in the pacific northwest area.

13

Wow lucky you -- To have pheasants in your yard!

Full disclosure - I have never had pheasants in my yard, so I have absolutely no experience with them, but I am so envious of your good fortune that I looked it up.

According to https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ring-necked_Pheasantlifehistory

pheasants are omnivores and :

"In fall and winter, Ring-necked Pheasants eat seeds—especially grain from farm fields—as well as grasses, leaves, roots, wild fruits and nuts, and insects. Their spring and summer diet is similar, but with a greater emphasis on animal prey and fresh greenery. They eat insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, crickets, and ants, as well as snails and earthworms. Ring-necked Pheasants forage in grasslands, hayfields, woodland edges, and brushy areas. They sometimes pick waste grain from cow manure in pastures. Pheasants take most of their food from the ground, scratching or digging with their bills. They can retrieve roots or seeds from as deep as three inches below the soil surface. They also sometimes forage in shrubs or trees for fruit, leaves, and buds."

So I guess they could harm your garden especially if they dig up your just-planted seeds..., but all of those caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, and snails that they also eat surely must count for something.

There is a picture of the gorgeous creature on that website too, but it is copyrighted, & don't know if it is ok to include. Here is one from wikipedia:pheasant

  • After reading your answer, I feel bad now :( The poor thing was limping and it was curious about our glass door to the garden and was standing there. Since I didn't know anything about the bird, I wasn't sure whether to open the door or not :( – yasouser Oct 24 '17 at 19:09
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    Don't feel bad. He's just grateful you aren't a pheasant hunter ... are you? (just kidding) – Lorel C. Oct 24 '17 at 20:47
  • Never let wild animals into your home. If you want a wild animal to get, help call the Park Ranger service or Animal Control to bring it in to get some care from professionals wildlife vets. A limp is not serious and will heal itself, it probably just wants to recover a little and will move along. If you must put a bowl of water out away from the house, that is fine. Most likely it will feed on some pests in your yard and move along. Don't feed it. I have never seen a pheasant at a bird feeder. You don't want wild animals getting too dependent or chummy; it always ends in tears. – CloneZero Oct 25 '17 at 18:23
  • Just for the record, both the pheasant in question and the pheasant in this answer's picture are males (if you want to add that to the answer). – Shule Oct 27 '17 at 23:21
7

These birds live as wild birds in my area. The people around complain only that during hot dry summers they tend to destroy their tomatoes (desperately searching for liquid). They also like to spend time under juniperus bushes, and from time to time they surprise and scare the owners when they take off out of these juniperuses. Otherwise, gorgeous birds. If I were you, I would try attracting them.

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I live in the UK. They are beautiful birds, but they demonstrate some fowl behaviour for the gardener. In my garden this year they've eaten spinach seedlings, runner beans (to the point that they died), a little bit of courgette leaf.

Damage to seedlings and plants - they also like to have a dust bath in soil, they destroyed some seedlings I planted and uprooted one or two plants while 'bathing'. The evidence for this is a bowl-shaped area in the soil, again a physical barrier (mass of uprooted weeds / sticks) helps to prevent this behaviour.

In terms of deterrence, I tried hanging up CDs on strings to keep them away from my vegetable garden, since wood pigeons don't like this. Though I can only assume that they marvelled at the nice colours reflecting in the sunbeams as they munch through the spinach. I tried covering the runner beans with a load of sticks I'd trimmed off a tree, this physical barrier helped a bit, but combined with the unseasonably hot summer this year, the beans didn't sufficiently recover. Netting would help I think, fencing might help as a partial deterrent too; though they can fly, they might be a bit nervous about being hemmed in.

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