Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

March 1939


Published in The Wilson Bulletin 51:1 (March 1939), pp. 22-37.


The native Bob-white (Colinus virginianus) and the introduced Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus torquatus) may both, on occasion, suffer severe winter mortality over much of their common range in north-central United States. Their habitats often overlap, although the Pheasant has a greater cruising radius and an ability to live in a more open type of country than the Bob-white. In given localities they also live upon much the same kinds of winter foods.

The scope of this paper is not intended to cover the ecological adjustments of Pheasants or of Bob-whites to their winter environment so much as the manifest effects of cold and malnutrition upon these birds under extreme conditions.

Data upon which this paper is based were, for the most part, obtained incidentally, in connection with a number of field study and experimental projects in Iowa and Wisconsin, chiefly between 1929 and 1934. Certain apparent hiatuses attributable to the incidental origin of the data would doubtless yield to specifically directed experimentation, but the latter I am not in a position to carry on and probably will not be, at least for some years to come. In the meantime, it may be of biological interest and possible value to wildlife management to summarize the data already available on the comparative hardiness of Bob-whites and Pheasants.