Red-legged Partridges

Red-legged Partridges (Alectoris rufa)

The Red-legged Partridges (Alectoris rufa) is also known as French Partridge to distinguish it from the Grey or English Partridge.

Close up of Red-legged Partridges
Close up of Red-legged Partridges

This partridge breeds naturally in south western Europe, in France and Iberia. It has become naturalised in southern England, where it was introduced as a game species. It is replaced in south eastern Europe by the very similar Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca). It is a non-migratory terrestrial species, which forms flocks outside the breeding season.

This species breeds on dry lowlands, such as farmland and open stony areas, laying its eggs in a ground nest.

The Red-legged Partridge Waling In A Grass
The Red-legged Partridge Waling In A Grass

It is a rotund bird, with a light brown back, grey breast and buff belly. The face is white with a black gorget. It has rufous-streaked flanks and red legs. When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly, but if necessary it flies a short distance on rounded wings.

This is a seed-eating species, but the young in particular take insects as an essential protein supply.

The call is a three-syllabled ka-chu-chu

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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