Nathalie Cypher: They can be very elusive, silent and secretive until they are no longer.
I think it’s good that Detroit is, as far as I know, as far as anyone I’ve talked to knows, Detroit is the only city that has a population of pheasants.
It is a very striking bird. It’s a beautiful bird. And if you don’t know what they are, the first time you see them you will find out, because they are so striking and beautiful.
They are not native to North America, actually. They are therefore from Asia. And they were brought here and to North America around the 1880s as game birds.
I suspect they may have entered the city through some kind of undisturbed natural corridor, like a railroad.
It’s a straight line to get from place to place and there are usually brushy areas there that would provide food for an animal like a pheasant.
However they got here, I guess they stayed because there’s a lot of vacant land in the city of Detroit, more than in some of your other big cities.
Open land, open parking lots, gravel, grassy areas, maybe even parks and playgrounds that haven’t been mowed in a few years, and a pheasant that looks a lot like its grassland habitat d ‘origin.
They are mostly seed and berry eaters, and because this grass is not mowed, it would provide more seeds and stuff like that for the pheasant to feed on.
They seem to have a perfectly good niche here without displacing other species like an invasive species would.
If Detroiters want to keep pheasants, they need habitat.
If you eliminate the habitat, you will also eliminate the birds. I think getting the word out about the importance of these habitats for pheasants.
Development could be a threat to birds, but I think if done in a way that maintains some of these corridors of vegetation for pheasants. They seem to be quite resilient to the development happening around them. And I think with a bit of conscious planning, I think development can still happen. But an intentional habitat would also be ideal for pheasants.
Even small areas of land that are set aside as a nature reserve or bird sanctuary can be intentionally managed as grassy habitat, rather than just left unintentionally overgrown. It’s good for pheasants. But people would like to see something that’s managed and cared for and intentionally maintained like a reserve, I think.
And I just think it would be great to keep the presence here in Detroit because they’re kind of like an icon for the city.