Why Do Pheasants Attack Humans? (Explained)

by Chukay Alex
Updated on

The majority of birds are inherently shy. Most birds, even in the wild, would flee from humans.

This is due to their perception of people as predators, which we can be most of the time.

Nonetheless, birds such as cassowaries, emus, and ostriches are considered dangerous birds.

They can also be harmful to people.

Peasants, despite their aggression, are bashful and would not want to attack humans.

However, in some situations, these birds have been observed attacking humans.

This is an unusual behavior among peasants. And it has prompted the question, “Why do pheasants attack humans?” Let’s find out.

Why Do Pheasants Attack Humans?

Why Do Pheasants Attack Humans

To protect their young: Birds are fiercely protective of their young. Pheasants are known to sit on their eggs during incubation.

They do this to provide predators with over-head and horizontal concealment. 

As a result, approaching their nest would result in an attack, particularly if you’re a stranger.

They’d probably assume you’re a predator and defend themselves.

Birds are fiercely protective of their young. For this purpose, they will even attack animals much larger than themselves.

To protect their territory and nest: Pheasants may attack humans during their breeding season.

Again, this is exclusively for the sake of defending their territory and nest.

In reality, the bird is merely scaring you away, not attacking. This appears to be an offensive conduct, but it is a defensive one. Well, on the part of the bird, it is. 

Pheasants are not known to be aggressive toward humans. They simply want to frighten off intruders.

To Pick On Your Food: If you’re carrying any food that attracts them, they’re likely to attack you. 

Animals have a great sense of smell. This makes it easy for them to perceive their feeds even from a far distance.

If you’re going close to pheasants or their territory, ensure you are not carrying food. 

Related: Here is an article I wrote on why pheasants make a lot of noise

Do Pheasants Get Aggressive?

Pheasants are quite aggressive. This is most common throughout their breeding season.

During this stage, they are found picking on themselves. Males are known to engage in this behavior.

Typically, each male would want to be in charge of his domain and get the females. And this frequently results in a fight among them.

It has also been discovered that pheasants eat their kind. Although this is typical common amongst captive game birds, pheasants are by far the worst in this practice.

This is primarily because they are not accustomed to confinement.

Juvenile pheasants are most likely to fall prey to this act. Pheasants do this by pecking and picking on other pheasants.

Usually, they peck or pick on their victim continuously. This may result in an open wound. In most situations, it may cause the amputation of toes or wings.

Toe and beak plucking are quite common in chicks. Wing and head picking, on the other hand, is more common in older birds.

Usually, the pheasants would attack again if there were visible bleeding wounds. The cannibal bird would continue to attack until the victim was damaged or died.

There are, however, ways to deal with this situation. Let’s take a closer look at them;

Provide them with enough space: This can help to decrease their fight eruption.

Overcrowding in the aviary is one major reason why they fight or may eat themselves.

However, it seems unlikely that they would quit fighting. Also, keep the chicks in a separate aviary. 

Keep them occupied: Another reason pheasants feed on themselves is boredom. These birds are very active.

And so, in a bid to kill idleness, they may begin to pick on themselves. It is best to keep them occupied. 

You can accomplish this by getting objects such as ropes and ladders for them. This can keep them busy. 

Ensure they have adequate feed and water: Always make sure the pheasants have plenty to eat and drink. A two-foot-long feeder is recommended for 50 birds at most.

Fitting them with structure-rings: This is another method of preventing cannibalism. You can also use blinders or spectacles.

These objects prevent them from pecking. There’s no need to be concerned; as long as you fit them correctly, they are safe for your birds.

Trim their beaks: This approach is ideal for Pheasants and is completely safe. You’ll have to proceed down until about a third of the upper mandible is broken off.

You can do this manually with a nail clipper. There are, however, machines created specifically for this purpose.

It is best to do this every 4-6 weeks as their beaks can regenerate. However, the rate of its growth is rather slow.

Also check out this article we have on do pheasants hibernate

Can Pheasants Be Friendly?

Pheasants are naturally wild birds. They are aggressive sometimes especially during breeding seasons. 

However, if they are tamed from a young age, they have a slight chance of being friendly.

And, they are quite hard to bond with. This makes their chances of being tamed are very small. 

However, if you are patient raising them, they can become pets. They might eventually let you come close to them. They will eat from your hand and let you rub them as well. 

Another way of making them friendly to you is by giving them treats. 

Do Pheasants Kill Other Birds?

Pheasants have been noted to be slightly cannibals. Meaning they kill their fellow pheasants. Pheasants also tend to harass and or kill other birds. 

They can easily attack and kill smaller birds and chicks if they invade their space. Pheasants will likely kill each other because they are not used to being in a confined space. 

However, as earlier stated pheasants become more aggressive when they are breeding.

Pheasants can kill other birds when they feel threatened. 

Pheasants are highly territorial and they will likely kill other birds that try to share their space. 

Certain precautions have to be taken to prevent pheasants from expressing their cannibal traits.

They shouldn’t be overcrowded in a space. This is one of the reasons they fight and injure one another. 

Pheasants are also ominous. This means that they eat both plants and animals. They also eat other animals such as lizards and worms. 

Can Pheasants Attack Dogs? 

Pheasants are brave birds but they are much smaller when compared with dogs. This obvious fact makes it impossible for them to attack dogs.

However, if a pheasant ever attacks a dog, it must have been protecting its territory. 

Pheasants would mostly see a dog as a predator and try as much as possible to avoid them.

Dogs kill birds due to their instincts. 

Birds are a great source of protein, and so, dogs desire to hunt them. Labrador Retrievers, for example, are bred specifically trained to catch birds and return them.

What To Do If Pheasants Attacks You? 

Birds have an instinct to defend their territory, nest, and the young ones from predators or intruders.

When birds have young in the nest, they are mostly defensive. This is usually from the time they hatch until they fledge and leave the nest.

They will likely attack you when they feel threatened.

However, if pheasants attack you, here’s what you should do; 

First and foremost, do not harm or injure them. And make sure you do not approach a nest or a baby bird if you see one.

The mother is almost certainly nearby, ready to defend them.

Secondly, if you approach a nest and the hen attacks you, gently retreat from that environment 

How Do You Scare Off A Pheasant? 

  • Peasants are deterred by shiny, reflective items. The light reflected off these things deters birds from returning to these regions.

Gleaming items, such as old CDs, aluminum cans, tin foil, small mirrors, or even metallic wrapping paper, can be hung near the pheasants’ nesting or landing places.

  • Natural predators of pheasants include foxes, cats, dogs, and larger pheasant birds. Placing things shaped like these predators in regions where nuisance birds congregate can dissuade them from breeding or landing near them. 

These things can be made of wood, metal, or any other weather-resistant material

  • Bird spikes are long, needle-like rods that are used to keep birds at bay. These spikes can be constructed out of tin or plastic cans and put in the ground or affixed to window sills and overhangs with wire. 

Nails can also be hammered into the wood to make them. Birds avoid landing on these spikes. They find them uncomfortable. 

  • Repellants sprays can also be used to get rid of them.

These processes can be applied in the case of gardens as well. However, in gardens, you will need to protect the plants with a net to avoid invasion by pheasants. Chicken wires can also be used to prevent pheasants from digging out seeds from the ground of your gardens.


Pheasants are not known to attack humans. However, this could be the case if they feel a need to protect their nest from people.

In this case, they are merely protecting their nest and young.

These birds are ferociously territorial. They are not friendly either. They have a slim chance of being tamed though. Pheasants have a cannibalistic tendency as well.

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About the author

Chukay Alex

Chukay is a season writer and farmer who enjoys farming and growing plants in his backyard farm. When he is not farming you can find him at the nearest lawn tennis court, hitting a mean backhand down the line.


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