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Discussion Starter #1
I have long been fascinated with the contents of crops, from turkeys, to grouse, to even doves... I always cut them open and see what's inside. I shot a pheasant a couple days ago and was VERY surprised at what I found inside. The bird was stocked the day before the opener, about 3 weeks before it was shot. It's private ground, so the hunting pressure is light so the birds have not been harassed too much. Anyways, here's a photo of what the cock bird had been eating...



I knew that insects made up a high percentage of the diet of young pheasant chicks, but never realized they ate so many grasshoppers as adults! Perhaps this stocked bird was just unusual? There were also two or three unknown plant tubers he had scratched up. His gizzard had unknown berries(possibly autumn olive) ground up in it and a cricket leg I could see, but once that gizzard gets to grinding with the stones, identifying the contents is a challenge!
 

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Very interesting. The grouse and turkeys I have gutted always have had grapes, berries, acorns, and grass in them. Given that the Ringnecks are not native, maybe they favor meat protein.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I once shot a turkey that had a crop of 90% walking sticks in the fall. This pheasant was unusual though, most have crops that are almost completely full of weed seeds. The grasshoppers surprised me even more with the fact that it was mid November, but with the warm weather we've been having and not many hard frosts, I guess there are still plenty around to eat.
 
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