Lack of cock

screenman

Legendary Member
It is a hen party.
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
There are seven pheasants in the back garden as I type - but all of them are hen pheasants. There can be up to nine pheasants, but cock birds are extremely rare. Can anyone explain this?
Cock birds are much less useful to breeders because they don't lay eggs and so can't contribute much to the increase of the flock - perhaps like male chickens they're more likely to be killed very young to maximise the size of the next generation.
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
Are you sure they are all hens and not mixed juveniles?
You is right.

Juvenile pheasants (both male and female) look like adult females only with a shorter tail. So they're probably juveniles which are also probably the only ones stupid enough to hang out in a garden (and pheasants always strike me as particularly stupid birds)
 
U

User6179

Guest
Maybe the cold weather!?
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
Am i? I don't know at what age they get adult plumage. Will last year's chicks be breading this year or later?
The shooting season is 1 October to 1 February. Birds retain their juvenile plumage up to about 10 weeks (according to wiki). So it sound like Patrick's birds are probably juveniles released probably in January that have managed to evade the shooters. They can't be shot now so they may breed, get eaten by a sparrowhawk or Patrick may catch them all in a big net and make some delightful dish from them
 
OP
Cycling Naturalist

Cycling Naturalist

Legendary Member
Location
Llangollen
The shooting season is 1 October to 1 February. Birds retain their juvenile plumage up to about 10 weeks (according to wiki). So it sound like Patrick's birds are probably juveniles released probably in January that have managed to evade the shooters. They can't be shot now so they may breed, get eaten by a sparrowhawk or Patrick may catch them all in a big net and make some delightful dish from them
They are rather out of a sparrowhawk's range. Even the females have to decapitate a collared dove, in order to fly away with it. And, ahem, for juveniles "released probably in January" what is the breeding cycle - incubation in October?
 
The males often gather together is gangs to show off to each other around March time, sizing each other up, to fight out territories etc so it is not uncommon to see larger groups of females and male juveniles in one patch and then a flock (?) of males in another field/garden/area. Seen it very frequenting on my travels and also in my old garden which was 2½ acres backing onto a nature reserve of 1,000's acres.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Stealthy little feckers they are....
As kids, we used to walk miles with dad in the countryside, they have a tendency to duck down as you approach, freeze.....until you're right on top of them then all hell lets loose, flapping, crashing clucking as they explode into flight, from about 2 ft away :ohmy::laugh:...frightens the life outa you.
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
They are rather out of a sparrowhawk's range. Even the females have to decapitate a collared dove, in order to fly away with it. And, ahem, for juveniles "released probably in January" what is the breeding cycle - incubation in October?
You're right, pheasant much too big. A goshawk though...that'd be a sight going for your birds. I'm not involved in pheasant rearing or shooting so I'm just surmising re timings. They apparently take 6 weeks incubation/fledging then 10 weeks in juvenile plumage.

I hate pheasants. When I see one while I'm on my bike they always look like they're so stupid they'll flush straight at my head
 
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