English, AfrikaansShow more Transferred use of general English pheasant a name for any of several species of game birds of the genus Phasianus; probably influenced by Afrikaans fisant, used of the francolins.
a.Any of several species of game bird of the genus Francolinus of the Phasanidae.Cf. partridge.
There exists some confusion in the application of the names ‘pheasant’ and ‘partridge’ to francolins, the most common explanation being that those species with bare facial and neck parts are referred to as ‘pheasants’, whereas ‘partridge’ is used of birds with feathered heads and necks.
1785G. Forstertr. ofA. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H.I. 153I found here two new species of the genus of tetrao, one of which is called partridge and the other pheasant: either sort being nearly of the size of our partridges.
1790tr. ofF. Le Vaillant’s Trav.I. 157Great numbers of partridges; particularly of that large species which the inhabitants of the Cape call pheasants.
1834T. PringleAfr. Sketches 515The bird called a Pheasant at the Cape is a sort of grouse, or rather a species intermediate between the grouse and the partridge.
1837‘N. Polson’Subaltern’s Sick Leave 119There is..a bird, general all over the Colony, styled ‘pheasant,’ though about as like a pheasant of England as a Dutch Boer is to a Bond-street exquisite.
1859E.L. Layard inCape Monthly Mag.V. Feb. 72By the side of the road we put up three of the ‘pheasants’ of this part of the country. They differ from the species which we find down here, being the Francolinus Nudicollis.
1937H. SauerEx Afr. 181These are what we call pheasants in South Africa, but they are really francolins, of which family there are no less than nineteen varieties, including our so-called partridges, the redwing, the greywing, and that excellent little fellow the schwempe or bush-partridge.
1961D. BeeChildren of Yesterday 282A pheasant called in the distance, a free, wild calling which he loved to hear.
a1823J. EwartJrnl (1970) 13On the summits of the mountains are still to be found a few antelopes, hares, partridges, and Cape pheasants.
1827T. PhilippsScenes & Occurrences 4We flushed and killed a brace of what are called Cape Pheasants, but by no means resembling the English pheasant. They have something of the grouse flavour.
1878T.J. LucasCamp Life & Sport 84For game birds we had the grey partridge and the Cape pheasant; the latter..being almost tailless...The head..being more fowl-like, with its red wattles, and the legs clumsy, crimson coloured.
1906Stark & SclaterBirds of S. Afr.IV. 214Francolinus capensis. Noisy Francolin or Cape Pheasant.
1985Weekend Argus 30 Nov. (Suppl.) 6Every so often a flock of Cape pheasant would explode out of the low scrub almost at my feet, protesting loudly as they glided to safety.
1913C. PettmanAfricanderisms 124Coast pheasant or partridge, Francolinus natalensis is so called in Natal.
1790tr. ofF. Le Vaillant’s Trav.I. 183Besides the three species of partridges above-mentioned, we observed another called the red pheasant, because its feet and the naked skin of its throat are of that colour.
1913C. PettmanAfricanderisms 395Red-necked pheasant, Pternistes nudicollis, not a common species; found in Pondoland and Natal.
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