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Pheasant
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There are many colour forms of the male Common Pheasant, ranging in colour from nearly white to almost black in some melanistic examples. These are due to captive breeding and hybridization between subspecies and with the Green Pheasant, reinforced by continual releases of stock from varying sources to the wild. For example, the "Ring-necked Pheasants" common in Europe, North America and Australia do not pertain to any specific taxon, they rather represent a stereotyped hybrid swarm.[3] Body weight can range from 0.5 to 3 kg (1.1-6.6 lb), with males averaging 1.2 kg (2.6 lb) and females averaging 0.9 kg (2 lb).

The adult male Common Pheasant of the nominate subspecies Phasianus colchicus colchicus is 60-89 cm (24-35 in) in length with a long brown streaked black tail, accounting for almost 50 cm (20 in) of the total length. The body plumage is barred bright gold and brown plumage with green, purple and white markings. The head is bottle green with a small crest and distinctive red wattle. P. c. colchicus and some other races lack a white neck ring.

The female (hen) is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over and measuring 50-63 cm (20-25 in) long including a tail of around 20 cm (8 in). Juvenile birds have the appearance of the female with a shorter tail until young males begin to grow characteristic bright feathers on the breast, head and back at about 10 weeks after hatching.

The Green Pheasant is very similar, and hybridizaton often makes the identity of individual birds difficult to determine. Green Pheasant males on average have a shorter tail than the Common Pheasant and have darker plumage that is uniformly bottle-green on the breast and belly; they always lack a neck ring. Green Pheasant females are darker, with many black dots on the breast and belly.

In addition, various color mutations are commonly encountered, mainly melanistic (black) and flavistic (isabelline or fawn) specimens. The former are rather common in some areas and are named Tenebrosus Pheasant (P. colchicus var. tenebrosus).

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