The ring-necked pheasant is a colorful and beautifully marked bird with iridescent plumage that is predominantly brown, although the underparts are more chestnut in color. Its dark head has a purple and green gloss and its facial wattles are red. Many males have a white neck ring and a maroon breast. The female is drab with pale brown plumage and dark mottling, especially on the back and wings. Its inconspicuous plumage makes it hard to spot and provides excellent camouflage when it is incubating eggs since the nest is usually a scrape on the ground.
This bird has been widely introduced, especially in Europe, because of its popularity among game shooters and successful intensive population management throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and North America.