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Chukar Partridge Fact File

Alectoris chukar

Credit: Public Domain

Weight

600g

(21oz)

Length

34-38cm

(13.4-15in)

Lifespan

Wild 3-5 years

Captive 3-5 years

Diet

Omnivores

Grass, Leaves, Insects

Conservation Status

IUCN

Least Concern

What's that Sound!

The chukar partridge is named for after the call which they produce. This is primarily used by the male to announce his territory.

They are omnivores with a wide ranging diet that includes grasses, leaves and insects.

This species is a popular gamebird which has allowed them to spread globally from their natural range in Africa, Europe and Asia.

Chukar partridges are threatened through habitat degradation, hunting and pesticide use.

Read on to learn more about these beautiful birds.

Appearance

What does the Chukar Partridge look like?

The chukar partridge has a round body which sits atop a pair of short red legs. Across the body they are colored sandy brown with lighter sides that feature a series of vertical, black bars.


On the face a dark band raps across the two eyes and continues down across the throat. Around the eye is a ring of red skin with the short beak also being colored red.


At the end of the body is a short tail which is square.

An average chukar partridge will measure 34-38cm (13.4-15in) and weigh 600g (21oz). They have a wingspan of up to 20.1cm across. The male and female are similar in size and appearance.

Adaptations

How does the Chukar Partridge survive in its habitat?


These birds are adapted for life on the ground with short legs and wings which are not particularly strong.

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Diet

What does the Chukar Partridge eat?

The chukar partridge is an omnivore. Their diet includes a range of plants such as roots, grains and shoots and insects.

Learn more about the Chukar Partridge in this video from Scott Ramos on YouTube

Range

Where do you find the Chukar Partridge?

The natural range of the chukar partridge takes in parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. Here they can be found in the following countries – Afghanistan; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; China; Cyprus; Egypt; Georgia; Greece; India; Iran; Iraq; Israel;

Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Mongolia; Nepal; Oman; Pakistan; Palestine; Russia; Saudi Arabia; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

These animals are a popular gamebird and releases, both accidental and planned have seen their range expand to the following countries – Bahrain; Canada; France; Germany; Italy; New Zealand; Norway; North Macedonia; Portugal; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Africa; Spain and the United States.

Habitat

Where can the Chukar Partridge survive?

These animals live in semi-arid habitats such as grassland and shrubland. These often have low levels of trees with small shrubs providing cover.


They have adapted well to human interference and will be found in vineyards and agricultural areas.

Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar)

Credit: Public Domain

Reproduction

How does the Chukar Partridge produce its young?

Breeding takes place from mid-April to May.


Females will produce between 7 and 12 eggs which are deposited in their nest. Their eggs are colored pale yellow with reddish brown spots.


Their nest is a shallow scrape in the ground. It is sheltered under a bush and lined with leaves.


The eggs will hatch after 24 days. Chicks can fly for the first time at two weeks old. Females perform most of the duties involving raising the chicks but in some cases the male has been involved raising the chicks.


They achieve adult size by almost 2 months old.

Behavior

What does the Chukar Partridge do during its day?

These birds spend much of their time on the ground and would rather walk than fly.


They will associate in groups of up to 40 birds.


Males produce a chuk chuk chuk call from which their name is taken.

Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar)

Credit: Public Domain

Predators and Threats

What stops the Chukar Partridge from surviving and thriving?

Predators of these birds are birds of prey.

Populations of the chukar partridge are considered stable and have been expanded through introductions in to areas where they did not previously occur.


This species has been seen to decline in population during extreme winter conditions.


Humans impact their population by using pesticides in their environment and habitat degradation. They are subject to hunting both of wild populations and birds specifically introduced for this purpose. Introduced birds may not be the same as those in the local area which can affect their genetics.

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Quick facts

This species may also be known simply as the chukar or the chukor.


Their name is onomatopoeic meaning that it refers to the sound of their call.


They were first described for western science during 1830.

Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar)

Credit: Public Domain

References

BirdLife International. 2019. Alectoris chukar (amended version of 2018 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T22678691A155454429. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T22678691A155454429.en. Accessed on 22 March 2022.

Seabrook-Davison, M.N.H. 2013. Chukor. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Onlinewww.nzbirdsonline.org.nz

Audubon. 2022. Chukar. [online] Available at: <https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/chukar> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

Nhpbs.org. 2022. Chukar – Alectoris chukar – NatureWorks. [online] Available at: <https://nhpbs.org/natureworks/chukar.htm> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

Fieldguide.mt.gov. 2022. Chukar – Montana Field Guide. [online] Available at: <https://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=ABNLC03010> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

Allaboutbirds.org. 2022. Chukar Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. [online] Available at: <https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Chukar/id> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

Biologydictionary.net Editors. (2020, August 31). Chukar. Retrieved from https://biologydictionary.net/chukar/

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