Crazy tale of Phil the unpleasant pheasant

Sally-Ann Hudson never leaves her Shropshire home without her trusty badminton racquet.

But she is not heading to the courts – instead it is being deployed as a weapon to defend herself from a pheasant she has dubbed a ‘tyrant’.

The bonkers bird – which has been christened Phil by the 44-year-old, who lives with her parents in Wentnor, near Bishop’s Castle – first turned up outside her home about four months ago.

Sally-Ann said: “At first we didn’t really notice him but we began to realise he was not like other pheasants – at first his stalking was very innocent.

“He would stare at us through the windows.

“Whichever window we looked out of, there he was.

“Sometimes he would jump up on the windowsill for a better view.

“Sometimes I go from one room into another, and he will run round the outside of the house following my movements.

“He even tries to get into the house and I am sure would readily come in if the door was left open.

“He wakes me up every morning angrily headbutting the French windows downstairs.”

Sally-Ann admitted being stalked by a bird was a bit unusual – but even she was stunned at what followed.

“Then he started attacking us,” Sally-Ann said.

“He doesn’t like the sound of my parents putting coal in the coal bucket and if they are getting coal in he will run at them, flapping round and pecking.

“Often when we get in the car, he will appear from nowhere and either jump on the car or start pecking it.

“He runs alongside the car as we drive away, pecking and headbutting the wheels.”

Sally-Ann added: “It is a miracle he is still alive.

“On one day this week he chased my car as usual, running alongside for a good 100 yards.

“I then sped up to try and outrun him, but he kept pace – finally taking to the air and flying behind the car in pursuit.”

She said: “He gave up as we left the village.

“We thought we had lost him, but no, by the time I returned home he was back outside the house cackling again.

“On another occasion he was so busy pecking my car he didn’t notice a car coming in the other direction.

“Luckily it slowed for him. Eventually he hopped out of the way but then started chasing that car instead.

“As I looked in my rear view mirror I saw him racing down the road at top speed chasing the other car.”

Sally-Ann said of the bonkers bird: “We have taken to carrying a badminton racquet when we go outside, just to defend ourselves.

“He lurks around the house all the time, for no apparent reason.”

Sally-Ann said: “There are no hen pheasants here, not much food, in fact nothing to keep him here. Yet he never strays far away.

“A couple of times in the last two weeks I have tried to befriend him, feeding him crumbs of corn bread, which he loves.

“Sometimes he will even come to me if I call him. He has no gratitude, though – and is always ready to attack.

“If he had arms and hands he would be permanently in a boxer’s fighting stance with his fists clenched.

“I have never encountered a pheasant like him and am quite sure this is not normal pheasant behaviour.

“They are normally just rather dopey birds which walk out in front of cars, but this one is quite a tyrant.”

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Comments for: "Crazy tale of Phil the unpleasant pheasant"

Mike Williams

You'd be surprised how even the most aggressive birds fail to be so when a 12-bore is discharged.


Sounds like he wants to become pheasant under glass! Yummy!

Sally-Ann Hudson

Aww, no, shooting him wouldn't be very kind. He's only a bird so it would hardly be fair. He's fine when he's not attacking us, and quite entertaining really. We're quite fond of him as long as he doesn't hurt us :-)


Phil needs a lady friend. The ringneck pheasant is a close cousin of the chicken and he is acting in a very roosterly fashion! No different than many farm yard roosters whom attack their keepers. Ive had pheasants before and the cocks are very territorial.

C Bronson

Had this happen with a grouse at our cabin. He would attack you as soon as you turned your back to him. Quite funny.

Mike in Ohio

Wonderful story. I'd enjoy having Phil around my house. :)

Russell Schiwal

I can just hear the theme-song for "Jaws" while reading this story.

Bill McClure

What a great bird, I enjoyable it must be to watch!

Hope that you feed him and maybe take some movies for utube.


We had a black bird living behind our house that waited until we came outside and then would swoop down from a tree and try to peck at our heads. There is also a small dirt road that leads to a parking lot nearby and the bird would wait there until we came out to walk to our car. One day it didn't show up and we never knew why this had occurred.

Some birds must be very territorial.

I wish I knew what causes Phil to behave like that....

charlie kraai

One could not buy this kind of entertainment." Enjoy" it while you can. I've raised these birds before and this is definitely unusual behavior. Does he have any obvious injuries? I think he needs a "ladyfriend".

Brian Wiesner

Sally-Ann...we need video of this pheasant behavior! This is perfect for "You-Tube".


NO NO! Thank you for not wanting to shoot him! Have you thought of getting him a girlfriend?


He'll be delicious with cream gravy and a good merlot!


Maybe he's actually the reincarnated spirit of a lost relative? Could explain why he's so attached.