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That's one tough rooster! Wayward pheasant returns to homeowner's yard in Neche, N.D., after lengthy absence

Mick McCoy of Neche, N.D., shared this photo of a rooster pheasant that showed up in his yard Monday morning after being absent for several weeks. "He dropped by this blustery, snowy morning, gorged himself on sunflower seeds for about half an hour, and then flew away," McCoy writes.1 / 2
McCoy shared this photo in early November of a rooster pheasant that was hanging out during the day with the local wild turkey flock. The pheasant had been absent for several weeks until Monday. (Photo courtesy of Mick McCoy)2 / 2

Back in early November, Mick McCoy of Neche, N.D., shared a photo of a rooster pheasant that was hanging around in his yard with a flock of local wild turkeys. Neche, in Pembina County, isn't exactly prime pheasant country, but the rooster would spend his days with the turkeys and then head off somewhere on his own to roost for the night.

That went on until early this winter, but then the rooster disappeared and McCoy hadn't seen him in weeks.

Until Monday morning.

"I ... thought he would have surely succumbed to the cold by now," McCoy said, sharing a photo he took of the rooster Monday morning. "We have had some near 40 below nights here in Neche. Against all odds, he dropped by this blustery, snowy morning, gorged himself on sunflower seeds for about half an hour, and then flew away."

If it's the same rooster—and we're guessing it is—where it spent the past several weeks is anyone's guess. But the pheasant definitely is beating the odds by surviving what has become a fairly severe weather in a part of the state that isn't known for being hospitable to pheasants.

We'll keep you posted as further updates warrant.

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998.  A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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