Identifying Pheasants, Quail & More

Pheasant In Grass

When hunting for pheasants, quail, and other game birds, you can dramatically increase your chances for a successful hunt by knowing key characteristics of each bird.

Being able to identify game birds by their color, plumage and other features will allow you to react quickly and ensure you’re hunting your desired target.

Pheasant In Grass

Pheasants have a ring around their neck

The easiest way to identify a pheasant is by the distinctive white ring that goes around their green neck. This is a feature of the male bird, who also sports a red face and body plumage ranging from gold to brown, green and purple.

Female pheasants can be a bit harder to identify, but have a light brown color, with black spots covering most of their body and wings.

All pheasants have a longer neck, a long tail that shoots straight out and a plumper mid-section. They are normally found on the ground, in fields or grasslands, where they forage on grain, seeds and insects. They walk or run but can fly when necessary. They also give off a loud, cackling sound which can be heard from long distances.

Quail travel in packs

Certain Quail, especially the popular Northern Bobwhite, have key features that give them away. Males have a black and white face pattern with a distinctive black line on the throat. Their midsection is typically brown and covered in small white spots in front, and black and white streaks across the back. They also have a short neck, small beak and a short, square tail.

They are usually found in small groups called coveys that can range in size from around 10 to 25 birds. Finding a group of short necked birds, with black and white faces foraging closely together can be a dead giveaway that you’ve found a Quail covey.

Chukar have a red beak

Chukar typically feature a black and white face pattern, similar to Quail, but differ with their bold red beak. They have a plain sandy brown body that also feature a black and white stripes pattern on their side.

Chukars usually stick to the ground in more remote areas. They walk or run and are known to hop quickly from rock to rock when escaping prey.

Getting to know these birds well will take time and practice. If you are looking to increase your knowledge through an exciting hunting getaway, we ask that you think of us at Meadow Brook Game Farm. One hour north of Nashville, TN, our 1200-acre shooting preserve features a wide range of game birds that include all listed above.  We have no bag limit and all hunts are guaranteed. To learn more about our guided hunts call today at (615) 888-2411.

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