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Thread: White pheasant

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Great Ellingham, Norfolk

    Default White pheasant

    Saw this earlier today at Lynford Arboretum, Norfolk and was istantly intrigued. After a bit of research online i believe this is a white pheasant. What are these? Are they bred specifically?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Yes, deliberately bred. Gamekeepers use them as 'marker' birds (no camouflage plumage!) to show where the bulk of their tame pheasant flock is feeding, so they know where to take the gunners.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mafting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Disagree with MichaelF to an extent; they're not 'deliberately bred' but just turn up in the intensively bred crop of pheasants bought in each year, and are a curiosity rather than a deliberate purchase.

    Keepers don't need 'marker birds', as they pour out lots of food in the areas where they want to drive birds from. They expect about a 30% return of shot birds from those released. For birds that wander, they can't do much about, so a 'marker bird' isn't much use - you bear what you have on the drive and hope the feeding has worked. A white bird also wont last very long - if it's a marker for a keeper then it's a marker for a fox or buzzard too.

    Most shoots only have a couple of drives, so they don't have much choice of where to take the guns, and therefore no need of markers. They walk round the evening before feeding them by hand, so no need to mark their location.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Odonate's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008


    I'm not sure if it is true but I have heard that these birds are normally taken out wherever possible as they are significantly more aggressive than normal Pheasants and can cause injury to other birds while trying to dominate feeding areas.


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