Monday, October 14, 2013

Colourful Ring-Necked Pheasant on Saskatchewan Road

Ring-necked pheasants top the list of picture suggestions I receive when people find out that I take photographs of birds along rural roads, in parks, and around my backyard.

And finally, I saw one, on Seven Bridges Road to Lumsden, a small town in the Qu'Appelle Valley north of Regina, Saskatchewan. This Prairie bird was immature, and lacked the vibrant blue head and neck feathers older males sport — but its facial skin was bright red, its tail elegantly long, and its body feathers, wonderfully rusty red and gold.

Immature male Ring-necked Pheasant. Photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
Immature male Ring-necked Pheasant,
showing red face markings.  © SB

And then today, driving along the old highway north from Regina, I saw a mature male Ring-necked Pheasant, with a stunning blue, red and white head, and gorgeous body feathers. He was shy, though, and marched into the trees as soon as he saw me... Which is exactly what the younger pheasant did last month...

Male Ring-necked Pheasant. Photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
Male Ring-necked Pheasant, walking away from the camera... © SB
Immature male Ring-necked Pheasant. Photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
And here's the younger, immature male Ring-necked Pheasant, 
posing (less-than-totally helpfully) in the shade © SB

And yes, I'll keep looking for a mature male who will stand still in bright sunlight and pose for me, his feathers rainbow sparkling... (On roads and in parks, at least; unlike Gray Partridges, Pheasants are not going to appear in my suburban yard...) But for now, at least, I've got two Saskatchewan Ring-necked Pheasants. 

What are these? An immature male Ring-Necked Pheasant, and a mature male Ring-Necked Pheasant.
Location: Along Seven Bridges Road and the old highway from Regina to Lumsden, Saskatchewan 
Photo dates: September 9, 2013, and October 14, 2013. 


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