- Grey Partridge
name = Grey Partridge
status = LC | status_system = IUCN3.1
status_ref = [IUCN2006|assessors=BirdLife International|year=2004|id=47040|title=Perdix perdix|downloaded=6 May 2006 Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern]
image_width = 250px
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
genus = "
species = "P. perdix"
binomial = "Perdix perdix"
binomial_authority = Linnaeus, 1758
The Grey Partridge, "Perdix perdix" also known as the English Partridge, Hungarian Partridge or Hun is a
gamebirdin the pheasant family Phasianidaeof the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds.
partridgebreeds on farmland across most of Europeinto western Asia, and has been introduced widely into North Americaand are quite common in some areas of southern Canadaand the northern United States. 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. It is a non-migratory terrestrial species, which forms flocks outside the breeding season.
It is declining greatly in numbers in areas of intensive cultivation such as
Great Britain, due to loss of breeding habitat and food supplies. The numbers have fallen by 85% in the last 25 years. Efforts are being made in Great Britainby organisations such as the Game Conservancy Trustto halt the decline by creating Conservation headlands. In 1995 it was nominated a Biodiversity Action plan species (see [http://www.ukbap.org.uk/UKPlans.aspx?ID=506 UK BAP] ).
The Grey Partridge is a rotund bird, 28-32 cm long, brown-backed, with grey flanks and chest. The belly is white, usually marked with a large chestnut-brown horse-shoe mark in males, but also in many females. 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 plummage. Young Grey Partridges are esentally yellow-brown, and lack the distinctive face and underpart markings. The song is a harsh "kieerr-ik".
When disturbed, like most of the gamebirds, it flies a short distance on rounded wings, often calling "rick rick rick" as it rises.
This is a seed-eating species, but the young in particular take
insects as an essential proteinsupply. During the first 10 days of life, the young can only digest insects. The parents lead their chicks to the edges of cerealfields, where they can forage for insects.
Widespread and common throughout its large range, the Grey Partridge is evaluated as Least Concern on the
IUCN Red Listof Threatened Species.
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 plain "Hun".
* [http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=188&m=0 BirdLife Species Factsheet]
* [http://www.redlist.org/search/details.php?species=47040 IUCN Red List]
* [http://www.gct.org.uk The Game Conservancy Trust]
* [http://www.gct.org.uk/greypartridge The Game Conservancy Trust - Grey Partridge Conservation Guide]
* [http://ibc.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/especie.phtml?idEspecie=1049 Grey Partridge videos] on the Internet Bird Collection
* [http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Gray_Partridge.html Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Grey Partridge]
* [http://www.sdakotabirds.com/species/gray_partridge_info.htm South Dakota Birds - Grey Partridge]
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