Re: [EXT] Re: [hmbirds] Pheasant

Tom Lake <trlake7@...>

Hi Tristan,

I really like your examples. This academic inquiry is made richer for us by your logic.

As for Mountain lions, wow.... there is a beast that has an entirely different and very complex suite of requirements. 
They may be an even more enjoyable topic to discuss sometime---best wait until one of us "sees" one. 

P.S. Coincidentally, in the Hudson River Almanac this week we discussed why it can be ill-advised for scientists to use the word "never." 

Be well, stay well Tristan .... all of us have to secure our spots in the 2021 CBCs.


-----Original Message-----
From: emberiza_tristrami <tristanlowery@...>
To: Will Raup <Hoaryredpoll@...>
Cc: Scott Varney <scottvarney1968@...>; John Kent <k2ent76@...>; HMBirds <>
Sent: Fri, Jan 15, 2021 5:02 pm
Subject: Re: [EXT] Re: [hmbirds] Pheasant

Except we do have “real info”. According to maps available through the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas III portal on eBird, there were only three confirmed instances of Ring-necked Pheasant breeding in New York State in all of 2020 and none of these records are from the Hudson-Mohawk region (there is one record each from Kings County, Queens County, and Livingston County – the last one being the only upstate confirmation). I’m not a population biologist, but those numbers don’t seem to indicate a substantial breeding population in New York State, especially for a species that isn’t particularly difficult to detect. And all the other proof of Ring-necked Pheasants breeding this area thus far mentioned in this thread is anecdotal evidence from three, four – even five decades – ago.
Just because we can’t prove that Ring-necked Pheasants aren’t breeding in this area doesn’t mean that they are. I could use the same exact fallacious logic to argue that mountain lions exist in this area.

Tristan Lowery

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 4:56 PM Will Raup <Hoaryredpoll@...> wrote:
We actually do.  It is called the breeding bird atlas.

There are no sustainable wild populations of Pheasants locally anymore.

Will Raup

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Scott Varney <scottvarney1968@...>
Date: 1/15/21 4:23 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: John Kent <k2ent76@...>
Cc: HMBirds <>
Subject: Re: [EXT] Re: [hmbirds] Pheasant

I completely agree with Tom's sentiments on this topic. At best, we have no real info on "wild" breeding vs non-breeding populations.  They should be counted as similarly as Starlings.  

Scott Varney
Salem, NY

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 10:38 AM John Kent <k2ent76@...> wrote:
Bull's Birds of New York State, published in 1974 and updated in 1998, says that Ring-necked Pheasant bred widely in the Great Lakes Plain, and to a somewhat lesser extent in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island. They declined severely in the 1940s, the recovered and reached a peak in the late 1960s. Since then, habitat loss and predation caused another decline. Starting around 1980, the state released many each year for hunting. The impact of the released birds on "wild" populations is negligible, as fewer than 5% survive to the following spring.

My understanding is that since this was written, they have been extirpated as breeders in the Hudson Valley.

John Kent

On 1/15/2021 9:05 AM, emberiza_tristrami wrote:
The difference is starlings aren't regularly restocked in the wild for hunting. It's not likely that pheasant populations would survive on their own in most, if not all of New York State without this intervention.

Tristan Lowery

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 8:59 AM Tom Lake via <> wrote:
The Ring-necked Pheasant seems to be a sticker for some as to counting in CBCs.

We count Starlings. Is there a difference?

With fish we count carp.

With trees we count the London plane.

With reptiles we count Red-eared Sliders.

Am I missing something?

Tom Lake

-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Mason <andymason@...>
Sent: Thu, Jan 14, 2021 9:04 pm
Subject: Re: [EXT] Re: [hmbirds] Pheasant

Our rule of thumb with pheasants on the NJ World Series of Birding was to hold a hand out toward it.  If the bird came toward you, don't count it; if it walked away, check it off.  Not terribly scientific!

Andy Mason

On 1/14/2021 6:33 PM, zach schwartz-weinstein wrote:
Well, all Ring-necked pheasants in North America are descendents of artificially introduced birds, but the species is established and countable in New York.  For ABA purposes, this pheasant is probably not countable because it can reasonably be separated from wild, naturally occurring members of its species due to its location at a release site.  However, it can and should still be reported to eBird, where researchers can specifically search for introduced and exotic birds.

On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 6:25 PM Jeffrey Schoonmaker <j.schoonmaker@...> wrote:
So, are we not allowed to "count" them?  I was pretty excited to see one.  I'm embarrassed if everyone knows they are artificially introduced and therefore nothing to get excited about.

From: <> on behalf of Lindsey Duval <lindsey.duval@...>
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2021 6:14 PM
To: zach schwartz-weinstein <zachsw@...>
Cc: Jeffrey Schoonmaker <j.schoonmaker@...>; HMBirds <>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [hmbirds] Pheasant
EXTERNAL EMAIL: This email originated from a source outside HVCC. Do not click any links or open any attachments unless you trust the sender and know the content is safe.

Well look what I found, this link shows that the pheasants are released in the Washington County State Forest, which I presume to be that trail on Blackhouse Rd as our hotspot holds that same name, for youth hunts:

I swear there used to be a release further up on Rt 41 in Kingsbury/Smith's Basin ages ago as well but that was word-of-mouth.

On Thu, Jan 14, 2021, 5:51 PM zach schwartz-weinstein <zachsw@...> wrote:
I believe the state releases them there for hunters.  (Or so a ranger told me once when he saw me walking along the new trail and mistook my scope for a firearm.)

On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 5:49 PM Jeffrey Schoonmaker <j.schoonmaker@...> wrote:
Found a Ring-necked Pheasant walking across the front lawn of house #323 on Blackhouse Rd. at the F. E. Grslnds at 3:27 p.m. today.
As of 4:35 p.m., no Short-eared Owls were showing up for the 10 car loads of hopeful folks waiting in the Plum Rd. Theater parking area.

Jeff Schoonmaker
Zach Schwartz-Weinstein
203 500 7774
Zach Schwartz-Weinstein
203 500 7774

Andrew Mason
13 Boylston St.
Oneonta, NY  13820
(607) 652-2162

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