Belongs to: game birds

Compare with: red-legged partridge

Grey partridge Perdix perdix

Also known as: common partridge

BoCC Red list


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Stocky gamebird of open agricultural land that has declined drastically

Habitat: heaths and fields with hedgerows and plenty of cover

Uncommon resident

Recognition

Small and stocky, streaked brown back, grey breast, red face and chestnut horseshoe-shaped mark on belly; 30 cm

Often seen in small flocks (coveys) in fields where it feeds on open ground on insects, leaves and seeds

Whirring flight, alternating with glides with down-curved wiongs

Lifecycle

Family groups break up into breeding pairs in late January/early February, with courtship rituals

Female makes a scrape in thick vegetation lined with grass and leaves, while the male defends the territory

One brood of up to 20 buff eggs late April to May, incubated by the female; both parents tend the young

  • Main photo

Photo © Alan Williams