Monday, April 30, 2007

Pheasant Eggs Hatched by Bobwhite

The Ring-necked Pheasant has long been known to occasionally parasitize the nests of native North American birds, including those of the Northern Bobwhite. Westemeier and Esker (1989) described (.pdf) the first known instance of a bobwhite nest apparently parasitized by pheasant(s) in which the pheasant eggs hatched at the expanse of the bobwhite eggs.

Of 281 bobwhite nests examined from 1970-1988 on a study site in Jasper County, Illinois, only one was known to have been parasitized by pheasants. In that nest, four pheasant eggs hatched from a bobwhite nest containing 15 intact bobwhite eggs and seven pheasant eggs.

Westemeir, Ronald L., and Terry L. Esker. 1989. An unsuccessful clutch of Northern Bobwhites with hatched pheasant eggs. Wilson Bulletin 101: 640-642.

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