A little over a month ago, I began noticing a strange “crowing” sound every time I stepped out on my deck. I could not figure out what it was, but knew it had to be some kind of bird or animal. A few days later I was surprised to see a beautiful ring neck pheasant perched on the fence surrounding our yard as I went down my driveway one morning. When I got home, I was delighted to see that he was still hanging around our house. I quickly nicknamed him “Phil.” I knew he was a male because only male pheasants have the beautiful coloring, while females are all brown.
Pheasants also love to live in high grass, so he has been living in the hayfield by our yard for about six weeks now. I also have a patch of wildflowers I planted and he occasionally hides there as well. This past weekend it was time to mow the hay and I was a little worried about how Phil would react to having it (his hiding place) cut down. My husband had to get off the tractor several times to make Phil get out of the way of the mower. In addition to Phil, we also found five fawns and three foxes living in the hayfield. The day after the hay was cut we did not see Phil anywhere. I guess he didn’t like it very well that we had destroyed his home, and he decided to move on to higher grass. I also feared the worst—that one of the foxes may have killed him. A second day went by with no Phil, but on the third day, as I came up the driveway from work, there was Phil perched on the fence again. He was home and I was ridiculously happy to see him. I even forgave him for the two times he was hiding in my patch of wildflowers and suddenly flew out of it almost scaring me to death.
It’s silly that I have become so attached to this wild bird when I really don’t like birds at all. Maybe it’s because he’s all alone and seems a little lost and out of place. We are enjoying him so much that we created his own Facebook page, and “Phil Pheasant” is starting to get quite the following. I have also been shopping around for a couple of pheasant hens so that Phil will have some companions and not be so lonely—maybe we will call them Phyllis and Felicia.