I got a chance to photograph another bird at Malheur that has been elusive in previous years, the Ring-necked Pheasant. This is the first time I’ve ever see a male pheasant with females and was surprised to see this one with several females. A little research showed that male pheasants often have harems. Unfortunately, I only observed them together a long ways off, so I only managed to get a shot of the male with one of its harem.
When I got closer, they scattered though the male pheasant headed towards the long grass that lined the road, which might have been a good strategy for most predators but wasn’t the best strategy if you were trying to avoid human hunters.
It did, however, give me a change to get some great shots of him. I liked this shot showing the beautiful patterns on his back.
Then, as if to offer a perfect profile, he made a sharp right turn and followed the grass line for several more feet
before finally disappearing. If I’m going to improve on the shots I’ve gotten this year, I’m going to have to really step my game up and go back to Malheur when there’s snow or doing the earlier mating season when males compete for mates.