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  1. Thank you all for these comments–I don’t know the fate of this bird. The Lake Forest Police looked for it on New Year’s Eve when John Swaine reported it to them, but they did not catch it. If anyone knows what happened to the bird, please let us know!

  2. Also, the pheasant is a distant relative of the red junglefowl, which is the ancestor of the domesticated chicken, or rooster, and they survive harsh winters in farms. This guy will likely be ok as long as there are plants like winter berry that it can find (which around here it can).

  3. Liz is right, this is a golden pheasant, native to central China. Probably a male. While ring-necked pheasants were introduced to this country a couple of hundred years ago, this bird was not. The bird’s natural habitat is dense, upland forest and brush land. I found an article that said they live in Britain (introduced). It’s probably escaped from a zoo or something, or a local place that has a bird collection.

  4. MORE ON THIS BIRD: This is a GOLDEN PHEASANT. They are kept as pets or in aviaries by bird keepers. George Washington had the first ones in US at Mt. Vernon. THIS BIRD CANNOT SURVIVE in the wild: COLD, NO FOOD, PREDATORS!!!

    FOLKS: Any unusual birds found outdoors in winter (exotic, parrots, etc.) need to be brought inside immediately. Lake County has an animal control department, where they rescue and rehome pet birds in trouble (ie. abusive/neglected situations). There are also BIRD SANCTUARIES around here! It could be that the Wildlife Center at Middleford Savannah would be able to home this bird.

    Sadly, abusive humans do release pet birds in the dead of winter, and ALSO pet birds can escape. You will see postings on craigslist all the time for people who have found — or are seeking — pet birds.

    You may feel free to call me if a pet bird is found, or spotted. Pet birds who have escaped, outdoors in summer or winter, are commonly spotted at bird feeders. A tame bird may “step up” on your hand if you give this command. You could also try throwing a large bedsheet over the bird and getting the bird inside that way. Do anything possible to get the bird into shelter immediately.

    If it looks to bright and exotic to be loose in Illinois, then it is an escaped pet bird! Please help these birds!
    Liz Gannon
    323 893 1039
    [email protected]

  5. Please advise asap if this bird has been taken to a shelter. These frigid temps are deadly for any bird who does not belong in this area. I am searching for the bird type. When was this bird last seen and where?
    Liz Gannon
    323 893 1039 (LF)

  6. That looks like a Chinese golden pheasant (also called red pheasant). It seems like maybe it is crossed with a native? Nice catch.

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