The word pheasant is derived from the ancient town of Phasis, the predecessor of the modern port city of Ponti in Western Georgia. It is a well-known gamebird, among those of more than regional importance perhaps the most widespread and ancient one in the world. The Common Pheasant is one of the world’s most hunted birds.
Phasianids are terrestrial, ground living species. They are variable in size and ranging from 43g, to 6Kg. There is generally sexual dimorphismin size, with males tending to be larger than females. They are generally plump, with broad relatively short wings and strong legs. Males of the larger species often have brightly coloured plumage as well facial ornamentations such as wattles or crests.
Common Pheasants are gregarious birds and outside the breeding season from loose flocks. Wherever they are hunted they are always timid once they associate humans with danger, and will quickly retreat for safety after hearing the arrival of hunting parties in the area.
The pheasants have a varied diet, with foods taken ranging from purely vegetarian diets of seeds, leaves, fruits, tubers, and roots, to small animals including insects, insect grubs and even small reptiles. Most species either specialise in feeding on plant matter or are predatory, although the chicks of most species are insectivorous.
Nesting usually occurs on the ground. Nests can vary from monds of vegetation to slight scrapes in the ground. As many as 18 eggs can be laid in the nest, although 7-12 is the more usual number, with smaller numbers in tropical species. Incubation is almost always performed by the femele only, and last from 14-30 days depending on the species