Ferrisburgh Surprise

By josh • Nature, Wildlife • 5 Oct 2012

Ring-necked pheasants are an exotic species introduced to North America from Asia, and there have been numerous attempts to establish them in Vermont (pdf).  I was surprised to find this fellow foraging in the rain next to a cornfield along Basin Harbor Road in Ferrisburgh.

Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked Pheasant, Canon 400mm f/5.6L at f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 400

In general, if you find these birds in Vermont they’re likely escapees from farms or game operations, and I’ve seen them near such places in Shoreham and Morristown.  I’m unaware of any game farm closer to this location than Dead Creek in Addison, 10 miles to the south.  I’m curious about whether the pheasants have established a breeding population that can survive multiple winters in this area, and whether they’re considered listable for ABA purposes in Vermont.  Anybody know?

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2 Responses

  1. Jim Phillips

    I’ve been told that there is a breeder of pheasants near the Ferrisburgh/Charlotte town line, nIear the back side of Mount Philo, where they have been known to let their birds run loose during the day. I believe these birds could survive in the Champlain Valley, but as evidence to the contrary there don’t seem to be many of them around.

    • Hmm. That’s probably a bit closer than Dead Creek, but it’s still quite a ways, and Vergennes and the Otter Creek are both in between. I don’t see any reason why pheasants couldn’t travel a few miles from where they were released, but I also don’t know why they would.

      We did have an awfully mild winter last year…if these birds are marginally able to survive through the year, this year would have been a good one to make it.

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