Fly away home

Autumn in New Jersey has brought us dazed deer, rabid raccoons and now, fugitive pheasants.

Some of the beautiful birds escaped but others were killed October 29 as the freakish fall snowstorm hit the Rockport Pheasant Farm, a Warren County facility that annually provides 55,000 pheasants for wildlife management areas statewide.

The N.J. Division of Fish & Wildlife is not certain how many pheasants perished after the nets over their pens collapsed.

Efforts to capture an equally unknown number of escapees are under way; the Easton, Pa. Express-Times  quotes one local resident's account of birds “everywhere” along Route 57.

This has not been a good year for pheasants in our part of the world: In early September, thousands of the birds drowned as Tropical Storm Lee flooded two Pennsylvania pheasant farms.