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Grey partridge

 

Grey partridge

Grey partridge
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Subfamily: Perdicinae
Genus: Perdix
Species: P. perdix
Binomial name
Perdix perdix
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Subspecies

8, see text

Range of P. perdix      Native range     Introduced range

The grey partridge (Perdix perdix), also known as the English partridge, Hungarian partridge, or hun, is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds. The species has been successfully introduced to many parts of the world for shooting, including vast areas of North America, where it is most commonly known as Hungarian partridge, or just "hun". Widespread and common throughout its large range, the grey partridge is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This partridge breeds on farmland across most of Europe into western Asia, and has been introduced widely into Canada, United States, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.[2] They are common in some areas of southern Canada and the northern United States.

Uncommon grey partridge in Alberta, Canada[3]

The grey partridge is a rotund bird, 28–32 cm (11–13 in) long, brown-backed, with grey flanks and chest. The belly is white, usually marked with a large chestnut-brown horse-shoe mark in males, and also in many females. Hens lay up to twenty eggs in a ground nest. The nest is usually in the margin of a cereal field, most commonly winter wheat. The only major and constant difference between the sexes is the so-called cross of Lorraine on the tertiary coverts of females—these being marked with two transverse bars, as opposed to the one in males. These are present after around 16 weeks of age when the birds have moulted into adult plumage. Young grey partridges are mostly yellow-brown and lack the distinctive face and underpart markings. The song is a harsh kieerr-ik, and when disturbed, like most of the gamebirds, it flies a short distance on rounded wings, often calling rick rick rick as it rises.

They are a seed-eating species, but the young in particular take Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust to halt this decline by creating Conservation headlands. In 1995, it was nominated a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species. In Ireland, it is now virtually confined to the Lough Boora reserve in County Offaly where a recent conservation project has succeeded in boosting its numbers to 900, raising hopes that it may be reintroduced to the rest of Ireland.

Subspecies

There are eight recognized subspecies:

Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

References

  1. ^  
  2. ^ Long, John L. (1981). Introduced Birds of the World. Agricultural Protection Board of Western Australia. pp. 21–493. 
  3. ^  

External links

  • Perdix perdixBirdLife species factsheet for
  • Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust - Grey Partridge
  • Grey partridge videos, photos, and sounds at the Internet Bird Collection
  • Gray Partridge Species Account – Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • Ageing and sexing (PDF; 2.6 MB) by Javier Blasco-Zumeta & Gerd-Michael Heinze
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