Thursday, 22 May 2014

Pheasants

This is a male common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). He is a wild pheasant but is fed daily by a family, whose garden he visits. The garden is in a housing estate, but backs onto a large expanse of moorland, and is also visited by roe deer. The pheasant is about two feet long. 



His feathers are very bright and decorative. The family who care for him have recently started giving medicine to stop infection by ticks. I understand that this really helps the health of the pheasant, and causes the red wattle on his head to develop well. The well developed wattle is a sign to the females that the pheasant is in good health, and shortly after the tick treatment started, the pheasant appeared with a family (a female pheasant and three babies). The female and babies have disappeared just now, and it is likely that they are sitting on eggs. 



This is a close up view of the feathers, which are very decorative. 




This pheasant is an extremely gentle passive bird, quite unlike a cockerel, and frequently is chased away from his food by other smaller garden birds. He seems to do very well in life though, and comes every day to tap on his family's windows to ask for seed.

The photograph was taken using a 1:1 macro lens from a distance of about 8 feet with a 1/200th second exposure.