The ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) purposefully consumes food twice a day, once in the early morning and once before sunset. Pheasants usually feed locally during the breeding season in order to stay safe in a cock defended territory. However, in the winter months, pheasants travel long distances in order to obtain food. The ring-necked pheasant is an omnivore; it consumes a wide-variety of plants, insects, and small arthropods. Still, the pheasant eats whatever is easily obtained. Pheasants use their feet and beak to scratch the surface of the ground and pull food off of plants. Agricultural crops such as corn, wheat, barley, and flax make up a large portion of the pheasant’s diet. Pheasants also feed on weed seeds such as ragweed and sunflower seeds and fruits such as wild grapes, apples, and blackberries. The ring-necked pheasant also captures and eats grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, and snails.                        The ring-necked pheasant shares similar niches with many other native species without harm. However, the native prairie chicken has been negatively affected by the behavior of the ring-necked pheasants. This behavior includes aggression of the male ring-necked pheasants (called lek mating) against the prairie chicken male. Many studies have been done to determine the reasoning behind this behavior; one hypothesis is that the ring-necked cocks mistake the prairie chicken for a female pheasant and are competing in order to mate (Holt et al. 2010). Other species interactions include the predation of the ring-necked pheasant. Being lower on the food chain, the ring-neck pheasant has to avoid numerous predators. Again, this is why the presence of habitat is so important for the survival of the ring-necked pheasant. Multiple studies have found that the ring-necked pheasant is primarily preyed on by the red fox(Vulpes vulpes) (Frey et al. 2003, Smith et al. 1997).  Other predators include the skunk, raccoons and the domesticated dog and cat. Humans also pose as a predator to pheasants, as a wild game bird; hunters travel the country in order to harvest their share of the beautiful and delicious ring-necked pheasant.


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