Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Back Yard Pheasant

In our town, Sunday is the day the hunters are out doing their thing. I'm not an anti-hunting person in general, but I do think hunting is better when people will more than likely eat what they hunt. That seems to be the case here.

Hunting is allowed between September and March, one day a week, between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm, break for lunch, then again from 2:30 pm to dusk. Hunters must stay a certain distance from houses and must always shoot away from populated areas. They seem to keep to the rules pretty well around here, although we do hear the shots outside since the hunters are sometimes very close to our property.

The vineyards and wood around us are full of roe deer, rabbits, and pheasants; in fact we see these animals all the time, all year long. We've been told that some of the pheasants are actually farm raised and released into the wild for hunting season, but we don't really know if that's true; it could be.

In the 2005 season, we saw one female pheasant in our yard and she came back many times over a week or so, then she was gone. Ken got some pictures of her and this is one of them:

This female hung out briefly in our yard in December 2004.

This year, a male pheasant has been hanging around in the vineyard outside our back gate. This past Sunday, we found him in the yard. It was almost as if he was taking shelter from the hunters just outside our gate. Pheasants are really beautiful birds and although they're pretty common, I still get excited when I see one.

He stayed in the yard for more than an hour after we first noticed him. Then the wind kicked up and it started to rain, and he was gone. We hope he didn't become someone's dinner... Here's a little video of him pecking around in the yard, with some added music; the video is a bit shaky because I was zoomed to the max.

See more photos of the pheasant at Ken's blog, here.

1 comment:

  1. I had remembered learning that the pheasant was introduced in the U.S. from Asia and went googling to verify my recollection. (I found that there are several wineries with the name pheasant in them, but that's "a whole nother story".) Anyways, I found a website to verify that pheasants are indeed originally from Asia. It also has some cooking tips for pheasant in case you or Ken are so inclined. ;-)
    wikipedia entry for pheasant


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