Last year, in Montana and elsewhere, spring snows delayed the pheasant breeding season. If you were hoping for any difference this year, boy, do we have news for you.
“We often get late winter and early spring snow events that can delay nesting, but as of now, the winter shouldn’t have had a huge impact on the birds’ bodies or habitat conditions,” said Ryan Williamson, Region Six upland game bird biologist for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, last week. He added that it sure was a good thing that the winter had been so mild.
But then, the snow-pocalypse!
Earlier this week, just when you thought it was safe to put that down jacket away for the season, the Midwest, including MacFarlane Pheasants’ farm in Wisconsin, was slammed by yet another winter wonderland. Missoula got four inches alone, and in many parts of the country, the records for seasonal, monthly, and daily snowfall have been shattered. It makes us wonder: how are the birds faring?
Well, if you recall, pheasants are tough critters, and in the pens we make sure they’re snug as a bug in a rug before the late season white stuff starts flying. In the wild, however, it’s much more of a gamble.
Late winter and early spring snowfalls can delay nesting, and it’s uncertain if this most recent flurry of flurries will impede springtime birds from getting it on. But as of this morning, it looks like the thermometer is on the rise. In Madison, the nearest big city to our farm, it’s going to reach a balmy 52 degrees today, and in Chicago, where we ship out all of our international orders, it’s supposed to climb up to 59.
Spring is coming, but it’s taking a while to fully catch on.
MacFarlane Pheasants wants to hear from you. Have you seen wild pheasant populations start to peek their beaks out? Drop your first-hand accounts in the comments, and together we can all get through these dark days of winter into the dog days of summer.
Read the whole Montana habitat report here: http://m.missoulian.com/lifestyles/recreation/pheasants-should-have-survived-harsh-winter-in-healthy-numbers/article_3ba625c2-bf46-11e3-befe-001a4bcf887a.html?mobile_touch=true