Date: 2/27/17 4:11 pm
From: DAVID KOCH <davilene...>
Subject: "Japanese green pheasant", Koch property, Northampton County
I was taken aback today when I saw that Charlie, the ring-necked pheasant that's been on the property for years, had a companion. Last breeding season Charlie took up with a turkey that he followed around constantly, but which disappeared after a few weeks. But, frankly, I wasn't sure what this bird was at first since it was facing away from me in overcast lighting. Then, however, it turned sideways and I immediately saw that it was another pheasant, albeit one with a completely dark breast and no ring around its neck. When it turned more towards me I could see that its breast was dark bluish, with a hint of green at spots. And then he and Charlie disappeared into the field. Obviously, this is an escaped raised bird, much like the chukar that showed up on a neighboring farmhouse's front porch a few years back. I have no idea, though, where it came from. It may have traveled a long distance or from a nearby pen, although I know of no one in this farm valley who raises them. It may also have been released by a gun club, but that really doesn't happen here much anymore, especially in February. But it will join my list of other "exotics"  -- a female orange bishop that survived snow and cold into early January several years back, a male nutmeg mannakin that spent four or five days on a backyard feeder, and an adult monk parakeet that visited that same feeder for a day. And on one Christmas Count near Hawk Mtn my partner and I found a yellow-fronted canary. But my most unusual property exotic, wasn't a bird. More than 30 years ago a monkey was in one of the trees in the field. As for normal birds, well, it's been pretty quiet due to the warm weather. The Gambel's white-crowned sparrow is still here with several others of the species but it didn't show today until around 5 in the afternoon. And just about everything else is what you'd expect at this time of the year.  Arlene Koch Easton, PA Northampton County <davilene...>
 
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