Alectoris rufa

Alectoris

Alectoris, is a genus of partridges with representatives in southern Europe, north Africa and Arabia, and across Asia to Tibet and western China. Members of the genus, notably the Chukar and Red-legged Partridge, have been introduced to the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Hawaii. In some countries, such as Great Britain, hybrids between the two widespread introduced species are common.

These are non-migratory birds of dry, open and often hilly country. The nest in a scantily lined ground scrape laying up to 20 eggs. They feed on a wide variety of seeds and some insect food.

These are rotund birds, typically with a light brown or grey back, grey breast and buff belly. The face is white or whitish with a dark gorget. They have has rufous-streaked flanks and red legs. When disturbed, they prefer to run rather than fly, but if necessary will fly a short distance on rounded wings.

Species in taxonomic order

A prehistoric species, A. peii, is known form China. Another one, A. baryosefi, has been described from Early Pleistocene fossils found at El-`Ubeidiya (Jordan valley), Israel.

References

  • Madge, Steve; McGowan, Philip J. K. & Kirwan, Guy M. (2002): Pheasants, partridges and grouse : a guide to the pheasants, partridges, quails, grouse, guineafowl, buttonquails and sandgrouse of the world. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-3966-0

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