A Cambridgeshire farming family is living in fear as they are terrorised by a furious pheasant.
Anne-Marie Hamilton and her husband have been living under the iron claw of the feathered oppressor on Wood Farm in Weston for the last week.
They are unable to leave their home without being attacked. One delivery driver was trapped recently, unable to move his van as the male bird blocked his path, flew at the bonnet and then chased his vehicle around the yard.
Mrs Hamilton described the pheasant as “a complete lunatic”.
“It’s an absolute nightmare,” said Mrs Hamilton. “Even when you can’t see him, you can hear him lurking about. He’s never far away so you can’t let your guard down. He’s a holy terror.
“Thanks to a back injury I’m having to use crutches, so at least I’m already armed and ready for him. It’s hilarious in some ways but if anyone wants to go out into the garden they have to take a big stick with them.”
Pheasants are very territorial birds and will fight to protect what they see as their own, however the British Trust for Ornithology have described this particular male bird as, “a little extreme”.
Paul Stancliffe, from the ornithology trust, said, “It’s the start of the breeding season so the pheasant sees everything as a threat. He’s trying to get everyone and everything off his territory so he can install his harem.
“It’s not entirely usual for pheasants to see off animals or chase vehicles. It’s not unheard of, but he’s perhaps taking things a little to the extreme.”
Mrs Hamilton is praying that the pheasant’s seven-day reign of terror will come to a close as suddenly as it began, hoping that he soon finds a mate.
“He really has been terrorising us,” she said. “He’s not at all wary of people, or dogs. He chased my poor Jack Russell all the way down the farm track and back home. The poor dog was exhausted.
“One young girl was having her first driving lesson on our land and could not move the car because the pheasant would not leave it alone. I don’t think we’ll see our delivery driver for a while either,” Mrs Hamilton added.
“Hopefully he’ll find a wife soon and clear off, because it’s becoming a flaming nuisance.
“Frankly I’d like to see him in a pie but some of my friends have become quite fond of him. They think it’s quite a laugh but they don’t have to live with him.”
It’s not the first time a pheasant has behaved like this. In 2010 a North Yorkshire village was the victim of similar attacks, as was a Shropshire family less than twelve months ago.