We have semi tame pheasants in the garden that come to be fed daily. 16 June mum pheasant brought out 11 chicks , she was amazingly attentive. We fed the chicks - wetted scrunched up mealworms and small seed. they got quite tame and would come right up to be fed. However in early mornings particularly if weather was blustery pack of 4-5 magpies would come raiding and carry off chicks. Gradually they almost all went this way (apart from one that fell in the pond). By day 17 there was just one girl left - mum was teaching her to jump up and fly on the picnic table. next day in the middle of the day, we watched as a sparrow hawk dived down and took the remaining chick. Mum pheasant was distraught - called for the chicks for 3 days in the garden. She hasn’t been same since. Was there any more we could have done to help her raise at least a few if the chicks safely or is this interfering? I guess at least they went to feed other birds in the circle of life. They were melanistic ones too so it would have been interesting to see how they grew up.
Pheasants are non native and require intensive support. Their populations are booming, so feeding native species is a good outcome in this case imo. If gamekeepers were all made redundant, the pheasant population would plummet. Realistically, the only way to get several young pheasants per brood to adulthood is to replicate a gamekeeper. Sounds like yours did well to last as long as they did. Cars, cats and foxes would havevwiped thrm out in this garden within their first week.
....edited as I keep forgetting this device has auto spellcheck switched in....
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Thanks for your replies Robbo & Catlady. It’s interesting to hear the experiences of others - they are indeed an introduced species, which is indeed controversial and goes to show the balance of predators is not in their favour. If people stopped releasing them for shoots, they would probably soon disappear from the landscape. They are fascinating to have in the garden though - they have been good company in lockdowns - cat lady is right though - they can get through a fair bit of food ! People don’t credit them with being very bright, but they are attentive parents and all the ones here collectively tried to look out for the chicks.
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