Spring triumph

Photo©Sarah Stierch


The pheasants are still here, the groups of escapees from the shoots, bred in cages, released just to be shot. But they never get them all. They live wild now, raise their chicks, keep their heads down when the hunt returns looking for stragglers they might have missed. And in the spring, as the season draws to a close, the cock pheasants crow in triumph saying, we’re still here, living, despite gun and dog, fox and the cold. Crowing.

blue earth turns

russet brown green again

and eggs hatch

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

19 thoughts on “Spring triumph”

    1. The lady up the lane who’s been here forty years says they’ve changed the stock. Originally they used American stock, big birds that hadn’t a clue. When they were released they just sat at the edge of the road waiting to be shot, poor things. They now use Chinese birds, much more clued up, when they’re released they fly away and loads of them escape. They are established in the wild now though they still don’t like cold winters.

    1. The pheasant is indigenous to Asia like hens I suppose. They don’t compete with anything else and they make a good meal for a fox or a big bird of prey, so I’m all for them as immigrants 🙂

  1. The bird is beautiful. And even if it wasn’t, I’m glad it thrives (even if the breed is obnoxious). We do the same thing here, of course (and just as bad), raise animals to hunt them. This is considered sporting? I mean, this is a sport? Bloodsport. Regulated (unregulated) butchery without the useful part.

    1. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see that the purpose of shooting is not the regulation of species (in whose name anyway?) it’s because some men like shooting guns and they like killing things. Shooting at a target isn’t enough for them, it has to be a life stolen, snuffed out. I wish they’d just stop this hypocrisy of pretending to be the guardians of the environment. As you say, it’s just butchery that nobody gets any benefit from.

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