'Terrorist' pheasant farm tormenter 'tamed by love'

Pheasants at Wood Farm Farmer Anne-Marie Hamilton said she was glad "that flaming pheasant" appeared to have calmed down

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A "terrorist" pheasant which chased "just about everyone and everything" at a Cambridgeshire farm has been tamed by love, the farm's owner believes.

The male bird arrived at Anne-Marie Hamilton's Wood Farm, in Hail Weston, in March and began attacking her, the dog, her visitors and their vehicles.

"We were seriously thinking how to get rid of him, but last week he turned up with a hen pheasant," she said.

"We've been terrorist-free for three days and I think it's her influence."

The pheasant began chasing delivery drivers, pecking at their tyres and flying on to their van bonnets shortly after it took up residence at the farm.

'That flaming pheasant'

The common pheasant

  • Pheasants were introduced to the UK by the Romans
  • They feed on a diet of seeds, berries and insects
  • They tend to prefer a habitat of wooded agricultural lowland
  • Male pheasants often fight to defend their territory and mates

Source: BBC Nature

Its anti-social antics then escalated over the following months.

"He has pretty much had a go at everyone and was becoming a real pain," Mrs Hamilton said.

Recent attacks include a man testing the water in a pond - who was "dive-bombed" after the pheasant spotted him - and a friend helping Mrs Hamilton hang out her washing.

"We were told by a gamekeeper that when the pheasant began moulting he might calm down, but the weather's not been warm so he's still fully-feathered," she said.

Mrs Hamilton, who has been using crutches to help her walk following a recent back injury, had even resorted to walking her dog at 05:00 BST to avoid the pheasant - who usually appeared an hour later.

"Several times he'd spot me and fly across the fence, and I'd have to fend him off by waving my crutch around."

However, all has gone quiet at Wood Farm since the bird, referred to by Mrs Hamilton as "that flaming pheasant", appeared with his lady-friend.

Pheasant outside patio doors The cock pheasant has seen off dogs, a cat and several vehicles at the farm
Pheasants at Wood Farm Mrs Hamilton said she believed the pheasant couple had now built their nest somewhere on her land

"She's a beautiful-looking bird and they've been coming into the garden about twice a day," she said.

"He wasn't any trouble when he was with her, and now we've not seen him for days."

Mrs Hamilton believes the pair have made their nest somewhere on the farm and the male bird is staying close to his new partner.

"He's such a handsome boy and we really didn't want to think about how to get him off the farm," she said.

"I sincerely hope he will settle down now - as long as he's not hen-pecked."

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