Pheasants were first introduced to Britain by the Normans in the 11th century. Since then there have been several varieties of the pheasant brought in, some for sport shooting. The common pheasant is considered by some to be the oldest gamebird in the world, but it is also the most hunted.
The pheasant is a large and long-tailed bird. Males have chestnut, golden-brown and black markings on their bodies and tails. They have green heads and red faces. The females are a paler shade of brown and black.
It is possible to see pheasants across the country, but not in the very north or west of Scotland. They are not seen in urban areas either. The best place to see pheasants is in open countryside by woodland edges and hedgerows.
Pheasants as Gamebirds
The pheasant is highly hunted in the UK for sport. It is also farmed intensively, with an estimated 35 million pheasants on British farms alone.
Pheasants are quite easy to raise and care for. They like eating berries, seeds, young shoots, and insects.