As a kid growing up in the Annapolis Valley, among the frequent sightings on our farm were ring-necked pheasants. We lived on a point of land that had a pheasant farm at the far end – the farmer raised the birds for restaurants and to release for hunters who paid to “hunt” on his preserve. Pheasants not being stupid, they’d get shot at once, and if not injured would fly over our way!
Pheasants aren’t native to Nova Scotia, they were brought here by hunters and game enthusiasts, but they have adapted well to our area. They love the Valley with the grain fields and small thickets of brush, but they can be found here in the Yarmouth area as well, in marshes and along streams. There is a limited hunting season for them, the limit being two male birds per day – and since one cock pheasant can breed with up to 10 females, the wisdom of this approach is evident. Both sexes of pheasants are gorgeous birds that have figured out how to co-exist with humans.
Norma and I drove up to Dartmouth earlier this week, and on the way home came back via the Valley. We got off the 101 and toured over to the farm my family used to own, and just as we passed the driveway, up the hill and across the road comes a large cock pheasant.
It was like he was saying “Welcome home!”