Pheasants using feeders

Sparked by a photo from Mike Eccles of a Pheasant feeding on a feeder from a tree, we asked you to tell us about the tactics your Pheasants had been using to access bird from your feeders.

It seems Mike wasn’t alone in his extraordinary Pheasant feeding sighting and many got in touch with us.

Waiting for smaller birds to spill

Most people saw Pheasants hoovering up seed underneath feeders, spilled by the smaller birds.

  • Helen Forrest, from Lincolnshire, has seen one of her female Pheasants waiting for the feeders to be used by smaller birds, looking up expectantly. But will this Pheasant ever learn how to use the feeder for itself?

Jumping and knocking feeders

Several people reported male Pheasants jumping or flying up and knocking the feeder to make the seed spill out, and then eating that up.

  • Pat and Jim Clark, in Gwynedd, used to watch a Pheasant jump up, grab the feeder in its beak, hang on for a few seconds until the branch that the feeder was on bowed, and then let go with food spraying everywhere.

Climbing heights to get to the feeders

In many gardens, the feeders are too high for the Pheasants so what did you see them doing?

  • Sarah Hendy, in Hampshire, has a male that stands on its tiptoes and strains its neck to take sunflower hearts directly from the feeders.
  • Will Pridie, in Hertfordshire, knew of a Pheasant that would climb up a shrub to get to the feeder, knock it to make the seeds fall out, and then slide down the branch to eat them.
  • Jill Adams, Norfolk reported a Pheasant standing on the tray at the bottom of a large Nyjer feeder.
  • Other items to stand on included windowsills (Linda Seward, Oxfordshire) and a composter (Marie Murray, County Antrim).

Bringing the family to feed

  • Mary Williams, in Worcestershire, had two generations using her feeders. A female, who ate from her feeders, had six chicks which she brought in every day. One chick would copy its mother and flew up to the feeder, 5ft off the ground, startling a Stock Dove which was happily eating away (see photo)!
  • Heather Hole, in Surrey watched an entire family ‘marching purposefully’ along the fence to reach the feeders (see photo).
  • Richard Cooper, in Shropshire, had three queuing up to feed from the feeder hanging in his Silver Birch tree!