THE DETROIT PHEASANT
The story that I was told was that Detroit's founder, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, had crates of Chinese Ringneck Pheasants imported to Detroit from his hunting lodge in France so that he could breed and hunt a "sophisticated" and "sporting" bird. And of course, over time some of the pheasants escaped and bred in the wild. Another story, and more plausible, is that because they are so popular with hunters, the DNR cut a deal with China to bring thousands of pheasants to southeast Michigan over a six-year period in the 1980s. Today these "Urban Pheasants" can be spotted in many open lots, fields and along railroad tracks in Detroit. With a cackle similar to a squirrel, look for the dark feathered bird to poke its uniquely colored head about the grass and weeds as it takes over the vacant land in the city.