ISSN 2074-9414 (Print),
ISSN 2313-1748 (Online)

Autumn and Winter Diet of Phasianus colchicus in the Central Ciscaucasia

Pheasants are game birds that feed on many insect pest species. The study of the pheasant food spectrum, especially in the autumn and winter period, is relevant and can be used to assess the food supply of birds in natural habitats and form the diet when they are bred in captivity. The authorities of the Stavropol Region try to preserve pheasant diversity and rationalize its use. In this respect, pheasants’ autumn-winter diet in natural environment is an important research subject that can help poultry farmers.
The research featured the common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) inhabiting various biotopes of the Stavropol Territory. The visual food spectrum analysis was based on the stomachs of birds killed by hunters in October–January 2011–2021.
The morning and evening visual observation included eight observation points located on linear routes and stationary sites of the Stavropol Territory. The analysis featured 94 stomachs obtained from the Stepnoye area and 28 stomachs from other areas of the Stavropol Region. Matured seeds and grains represented more than 50% of the stomach content and included wheat, corn, narrow-leaved oleaster, etc. Some samples contained a large number of ants with a minimal content of other foods.
In the Central Ciscaucasia, pheasants inhabit communal gardens, river valleys, agricultural fields, and forest belts. Nowadays, they can be found in urban areas, where they prefer quasi-natural habitats, e.g. green backyards overgrown with such thorny bushes as oleaster, sea buckthorn, blackberry, blackthorn, wild rose, etc. Pheasants are omnivorous; their autumn and winter diet includes cultivated and wild fruits and seeds, as well as insect larvae.
Pheasant, biotopes, diet, feeding behavior, gastroliths
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How to quote?
Kaledin AP, Malovichko LV, Rezanov AG, Drozdova LS. Autumn and Winter Diet of Phasianus colchicus in the Central Ciscaucasia. Food Processing: Techniques and Technology. 2022;52(1):133–143. (In Russ.). https://doi. org/10.21603/2074-9414-2022-1-133-143
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