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Grey Partridge - BirdForum Opus

Photo by piotr biegaj
Northern Poland, April 2004
Perdix perdix


  • Relatively small headed and chubby
  • Orange face and throat
  • Green bill
  • Grey legs


  • White underbelly
  • Chestnut horseshoe on lower breast


Similar to male, but duller

Similar Species

Norfolk. U.K, 2006

Red-legged Partridge


Breeds throughout Europe from the UK to Kazakhstan, and Scandinavia, with a patchy distribution in southern Europe.

Also found in parts of southern Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) and northern USA, where it was introduced from Europe, as a game bird and has thrived on the prairies and agricultural land.



There are 7 subspecies:

  • P. p. perdix:
  • P. p. sphagnetorum:
  • P. p. armoricana:
  • P. p. hispaniensis:
  • P. p. lucida:
  • Finland east to Ural Mountains and south to Black Sea and northern Caucasus
  • P. p. robusta:
  • Ural Mountains to south-western Siberia and north-western China
  • P. p. canescens:
  • Turkey east to the Caucasus, Transcaucasia and north-western Iran


Can be found on a wide variety of habitats, from farmland to moorland and sand dunes. Adults are more likely to be seen in open grass or vegetation the young, however, prefer cereal crops.


Once common, the population has crashed, possibly due to farming practices.


Can be found in 'coveys' outside of the breeding season.


They are inclined to fly close to the ground. Wing flaps produce a whirring noise.


Adults: grass, seeds and shoots; also insects when breeding.
Chicks: only eat invertebrates such as sawflies, beetles and aphids.


Mid-April to early September. Up to 16 eggs laid in a well-hidden scrape nest lined with grass and leaves. If they lose their first clutch, they may lay again.


Includes a high, hoarse keev, and a pitt-pitt-pitt when alarmed.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. ArKive
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

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