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The Pheasant

Woodland with pheasant - Botanic Garden, Cambridge

Even while I took the shot I knew that the pheasant would only be a small blob in the frame. The longest focal length on my short zoom is 55mm, so it is not going to reach far into the distance.

But I processed the image anyway, and somehow the little gap in the wood looks nice to my eye.

Here’s a crop of the above image showing a close-up of the little guy.

5 Comments

  1. A lovely closeup (and nice lens btw!) but aren’t they just so incredibly, fabulously beautiful, David? I always thought – being so colourful – that it was something of a miracle that they (any of them) survived…

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    • Yes, beautiful. They survive in the UK principally because they are reared in protected areas and then shot when the pheasant shooting season begins in October. The clever pheasants escape and make their way off the estates.

      Pheasants are usually shot in ‘driven’ shoots, where beaters move the pheasants along until they force them to break cover and rise and fly away, but unbeknownst to them, towards the line of guns waiting for them.
      I have nothing against people hunting for the pot, and I am pretty sure that pheasants from driven shoots end up in the pot, but the organisation of it all, the system from ‘cradle to grave’ turns me off.

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      • Yes, even here a few do escape from “captivity”but, because they are not native to Canada (nor Britain either, for that matter) the Ring-Necked Pheasant would never have survived here at all if it weren’t for being restocked from game farms every year. We saw them every now and again when I was growing up because there was a game farm fairly nearby where they were raised from incubated eggs and released. But let’s face it, they – particularly the cock birds – don’t exactly have the best camouflage for survival in the wild, right? The native Ruffled Grouse/ aka Partridge on the other hand, were a lot more prolific (and a much harder bird for a solitary hunter and dog to bring home: )

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        • Yes, you are right, of course, that they don’t have good camouflage. I like the way they can rise up almost vertically, to escape predators – except hunters. Do they have driven shoots in Canada? I saw a funny thing when I lived in Norfolk. The study at the end of the house looked out over a field with a hedge to the right running off into the distance. I saw a black cat and a male pheasant walking away down the field, about a foot from each other, like friends strolling in the countryside until I couldn’t see them any more.

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        • Yes, there are some places with fenced compounds for pheasant just as there are for other non-native species like farm-raised deer and elk; but hunting “for sport” is not looked kindly upon by hunters who prefer to match wits and reaction time with animals on an equal footing. Like “Shooting fish in a barrel” as my dad would say… :/
          Thanks for the story of the cock-bird and kitty David! It’s put a smile on my face and rhyme starting in the back of my head: )

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