This long-tailed pheasant abounds year-round in farmlands, pastures, and the grassy edges of woodlands in temperate latitudes throughout the US and Europe. The male of the species—with its bright red eye patches, iridescent green head, and the white ring around its neck—is easy to spot. When startled, the bird’s powerful chest muscles allow it to flush almost vertically at speeds approaching 40 miles per hour.
This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2011 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here.