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Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked pheasants are not native Montanans. They were imported from China to the United States in the mid-1800's, but that hasn't stopped them from making themselves right at home in Montana.

Ring-necked Pheasant
Phasianus colchicus

Pheasants are year-round residents of wheat fields and grasslands throughout Montana. The distinctive markings of the male make him easy to spot, but females usually go unnoticed with their nondescript brown color and stubby tail. While most birds simply fly to get away from predators, pheasants prefer to be much more involved. First, they hide as long as they can. When their discovery is imminent, they take flight in a noisy flush—but just for a short hop. Then, they land again and literally hit the ground running. Even if predators were able to track where pheasants landed, they'd still be in for a scramble.