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Pheasants are birds of open landscapes, where grasses and herbaceous plants are the dominant cover. Over much of their range,secure, undisturbed grassland nesting habitat is the most important limiting factor for pheasant populations. Hen pheasants generally begin nesting by early April. The earliest nests are located in erect, residual vegetation from the prior growing season. Later, the new growth in hayfields and pastures becomes important for nesting hens and for newly hatched broods. Hens that lose their nests are persistent re-nesters, although clutch size diminishes rapidly as summer advances.Nesting chores end for most hens by mid-July. In addition to pheasant nesting, grasslands provide foods that are important in several life stages of ringnecks and are havens for many other species of game and non-game wildlife. You turkey hunters know where old boss hen leads her poults soon after hatching. Insect rich grassfields provide the protein necessary for rapid weight gain in poults until they fledge, and help maintain body heat so they can thermo-regulate heat in the brood. I always smile when I hear a cockbird crow in near vicinity to a hay pasture or weed field. The cycle of life is an amazing thing.<img src="/images/boards/smilies/thumb.gif" border="0" align="absmiddle"><img src="/images/boards/smilies/thumb.gif" border="0" align="absmiddle">
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