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crisw's avatar

Does anyone know what a hen ringneck pheasant sounds like?

Asked by crisw (13984 points ) April 14th, 2009

I live in San Diego County, CA. Today I heard a bird, hidden in thick chaparral, clucking like a chicken. I couldn’t see it at all. It was a series of four clucks, silence, then four more clucks. It was a bit higher-pitched and more rapid than a chicken. Definitely a gallinaceous bird of some type; but certainly not a California quail, our only resident Galliformes here.

I’m guessing it was a hen ringneck pheasant. The so-called “state wildlife refuge” down the road from us a bit annually dumps out a few hundred pheasants for kids to shoot, and a few escapees have made it to our place before- but all the ones I’ve seen and heard in the past have been cocks. I can’t find any online hen pheasant recordings. Can anyone point me to one, or confirm the sound a hen pheasant makes?

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12 Answers

cookieman's avatar

Maybe it was a henway.

crisw's avatar

@YARNLADY

I checked all the Google sites I could find- a few had cock crows, but no hen pheasant noises. Someone out there must be from Kansas or somewhere they have a zillion pheasants…hey, maybe I’ll ask Dutchess!

crisw's avatar

@cprevite
Huh? I don’t get the joke, if that was the intent.

YARNLADY's avatar

@crisw I clicked on the very first site on the list and found a description and even a recording of the sound. What browser are you using?

cookieman's avatar

@crisw: Sorry, it’s an old joke. You say, ” what’s a henway?” and I say, “about two pounds,”

sorry

crisw's avatar

@Benny
@YARNLADY

That’s a cock pheasant, not a hen.

crisw's avatar

@cprevite
Riiiiight :>) I had heard that joke, now that you mention it :>D

crisw's avatar

Hmm, I’d forgotten about the Macaulay Library. Went there and found a couple of dozen pheasant recordings. This one seems to be a hen- and it’s not quite what I heard. Now I have a real mystery on my hands!

Dutchess12's avatar

CRIS!! The only close-up experience with a pheasant I’ve had was when my college BF took me on a romantic date hunting with him and his friend! And he shot a pheasant, and tole me I had to fetch the bird back to camp! So I fetched the bird…and was sooo totally heart broken by the death of this beautiful, beautiful bird…I fetched it back to camp cradled in my arms like a baby, stroking his beautiful iridescent feathers, marveling at the depth and brilliance of the colors….with tears streaming down my cheeks because he was dead….my bf kind of laughed at me when I showed up carrying the pheasant that way, saying, snort you’re supposed to carry him upside down by his feet. I turned a tear stained, furious face toward him and he shut up right quick and never….took me hunting again! Anyway! Let me check with Rick….

Rick says it was a rattlesnake ya heard…..

Actually, the thing about pheasants is along with their “song” they beat their wings against their hollow chest making a booming sound…but I don’t know if hens do that. Rick said maybe it’s a Prairie Chicken? Here’s a link I found….maybe it was the extinct Heath Hen, which was a distinct subspecies of the Greater Prairie Chicken? (Thought you’d like that!) Is there anything is this song that was similar…? http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Greater_Prairie-Chicken/id
I don’t know if this is of any help, but I will sure be listening to my bird sounds when we go camping now!! I’ll get back to you some day…
(Great classic Wis.dm question, BTW! :)

Dutchess12's avatar

Dang it girl! You got me going…OK…I have little to no knowledge of farm life, but I double checked with Rick and farm chickens cluck in increments like you described when they’re laying….so….I’ll bet it was a layin’ hen you heard….

OR….it was a smoker. You know, the chicken wanted to do a full rottle (my grandson’s word for “Full throttle”) holla, but he kept running out of breath.

OR….it WAS a rattlesnake!

—thank you so much! I dropped in for a sec to ask a technical question, found this unknown to Rick who was watching TV in the next room thinking I was working on his expense report. Suddenly, out of the blue there are bird calls of all kinds floating out of this room, as I googled like a banshee. Rick hollers, “What all that noise! Sounds like birds are taking over the dining room (where the computer is now)!!”
I said, “I HAFF TO FIND A RINGNECK PHEASANT HEN SOUND!!”
He doesn’t go, “WHAT??? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND??? WHY do you HAVE to find a Ringneck pheasant Hen sound???” but instead immediately understands my insane behavior from previous past insane behavior and yells, “I THOUGHT WIS.DM WAS DEAD!!”
I go…“Wull….CrisW is on Fluther!!!!”
He says, “Oh.” And understanding instantly, willingly helps me on my search….”)—

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