Resident Pheasant

FMrs. Fezzi playing hard to get in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Mrs. Fezzi playing hard to get (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

There have always been pheasants roaming around our property making their presence known with their strange ‘Model T horn’ sounding call.  But until three years ago, they were always cautious and discreet, never allowing themselves to be seen up close. That is, until Fezziweig, a handsome ring-necked pheasant, strolled into our back yard introducing himself with a nod and side glance from his colorful red head, as if to say “Howdy.”

From that point on, Fezziweig made regular visits to our yard.  He nibbled at the bird feeder each morning and reminded me with a loud blare if I was running late.  Fezzi got along quite well with all his feeder mates; squirrels, chipmunks, birds, crows and ground hogs.  It was quite a sight to see them all eating together harmoniously.  The hardest times were the fall and winter; as Fezzi’s visits would become less frequent and I worried that something had happened to him.

This spring, he arrived with the usual announcements but seemed to be strutting around and calling much more frequently than usual.  He was standing on the fence and preening.  He was standing on the big rock out back and preening.  And calling.  And preening.  And then I saw her … the reason for all the fuss.  Our little resident pheasant had found love!

Now, his life had purpose.  And if statistics are correct, losing his bachelorhood and becoming a partner may extend his life potential.  In any case, Fezziweig and Mrs. Fezziweig (pretty presumptuous, but they have been dating a few months now, which is probably 20 years in pheasant time) are an item and I feel so fortunate to be able to watch them together.

Resident Pheasants in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Fezziweig with new love (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Fezzi wines and dines his lady at our bird feeder, takes her for romantic walks around the property, basks in the mulch under the metasequoia during the hot afternoons and ends the day with cocktail hour at the stream.  All told, it’s a blissful existence for Mr. and Mrs. Fezziweig, our resident pheasants.

**It is with a broken heart that I share this news: Our Fezzi was run down and killed by a thoughtless speeder this morning.  I found him dead in the road in front of our house.  It may seem weird to some, but even though he was a wild animal, we had a connection.  He was a treasured member of our family and will be greatly missed. I yearn for the sound of his call and our world seems a little bit less bright with out him.


  1. That is so sad! Isn’t it amazing how attached we become to the wildlife who come to visit our yards? RIP Fezziweig 🙁

    • I had written the story a few months ago, sort of ironic how I thought finding love might extend his life … He managed to evade coyotes and hunters, but not the reckless speeders! Hopefully, Mrs. Fezzy will find a new companion in a safer location.

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