The Common Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus, is a bird in the pheasant family (Phasianidae). It is native to Russia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe (where it is naturalized), it is simply known as the "pheasant". "Ring-necked Pheasant" is a collective name for a number of subspecies and their crossbreeds. The Common Pheasant is one of the world's most hunted birds and the state bird of South Dakota, one of only three US state birds that is not a species native to the United States. The adult male Common Pheasant of the nominate subspecies Phasianus colchicus colchicus is 60–89 cm (24–35 in) in length with a long brown streaked black tail, accounting for almost 50 cm (20 in) of the total length. The body plumage is barred bright gold and brown plumage with green, purple and white markings. The head is bottle green with a small crest and distinctive red wattle. The female (hen) is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over and measuring 50–63 cm (20–25 in) long including a tail of around 20 cm (8 in). Juvenile birds have the appearance of the female with a shorter tail until young males begin to grow characteristic bright feathers on the breast, head and back at about 10 weeks after hatching.
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