The Common pheasant is a colorful bird renowned for the striking plumage of the male. It is native to Asia, but has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe, where it is naturalized, it is simply known as the "pheasant". The Common pheasant is a well-known game bird, among those of more than regional importance perhaps the most widespread and ancient one in the whole world. It is one of the world's most hunted birds; it has been introduced for that purpose to many regions and is also common on game farms where it is commercially bred. Common pheasants are gregarious birds and outside the breeding season form loose flocks. Wherever they are hunted, they are always timid once they associate humans with danger, and will quickly retreat for safety after hearing the arrival of hunting parties in the area. Common pheasants are diurnal and spend most of their time on the ground. They are able to fly in short distances, but they prefer to run.
There are many color forms of the male Common pheasant, which range in color from nearly white to almost black in some melanotic examples.
When the weather is bad, pheasants can stay in their roost for several days even without food.