Animals

By Jos Weale


A lusty pheasant has been snapped striking a seductive tango pose in a bid to woo a potential mate.

The striking bird, which wouldn’t look out of place on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, boasts magnificent posture and was captured with his wings outstretched and head posed in an elegant arch.

And it seems his fancy footwork is paying off as semi-professional photographer Jeff Harrison says he is regularly spotted in his garden with an adoring harem of up to eight hens.

Jeff, from Aberfeldy, Perthshire, said: “He does look like he’s doing the tango for his females.

PIC FROM MERCURY PRESS

“I caught him doing that pose while I was out in the garden.

“It was just as he was about to shake up his feathers. He had his wings poised straight up, and then he did his bit of a flutter.

“At the time, he had three of his females with him to impress, but he’s always followed by a harem of up to eight of them.

“I’m surprised with all of them he even has the energy to do that.”

Jeff, 67, captured the striking shot last week (April 25) during one of the birds’ many visits to the garden for food.

Married dad-of-two Jeff said: “I call him ‘The Colonel’ because he has that [upright] stance. He’s always followed by a harem of up to eight females.

“He’s still a wild animal but he will often walk up to the bird feeders in the garden to be fed – when they get used to you they’ll come right up to you – but this is the first time I’ve got him on camera.”

And according to Jeff he doesn’t like to share his smitten sweethearts with anyone else and will ward off any competition.

Jeff, whose interest in photography stretches back 50 years, said: “Male pheasants are very territorial and protective of their females, particularly at this time of year.

“He’ll chase any other males off. They can run really fast, almost like the road runner.

“We see quite a few of them around here as we live close to pheasant-shooting territory and they release a lot of them for the shooting.

“But here it’s a shooting of a different kind as it’s not allowed in this area, so it’s a kind of safe haven for them.”

And now Jeff, who lives with wife Lynn, says Perthshire is the perfect place to capture stunning landscapes and wildlife.

Jeff said: “We have fallen in love with it around here. It’s such a beautiful place and I really enjoy capturing the landscapes.”

ENDS