Later this October, the Taber Pheasant festival kicks off. Now, of course, you needed to register back in the summer to get a slot, but not to worry — there are still plenty of opportunities for you to get out and enjoy some birding opportunities.
Thanks to the efforts of the Alberta Conservation Association and other groups like the 4H clubs, pheasant hatcheries have been popping up right across Alberta. Raising and releasing pheasants is more than just creating hunting opportunities, is also about creating new habitat. The ACA plans to release 26,000 pheasants this season. Most of these releases will take place on 39 conservation sites located across the province.
These conservation sites are managed by the ACA or other conservation organizations, so there is no need to seek permission before setting off on your walk. There are also a few properties in southern Alberta where the release sites are on private property — so getting permission from the land-owner is required.
Releasing pheasants is an excellent first step, but most of these birds are not able to survive in the wild. The only way to ensure a growing population is to work towards improving habitat.