Belongs to: game birds

Compare with: grey partridge

Red-legged partridge Alectoris rufa

Also known as: french partridge, red-leg

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Chunky gamebird, commonly of agricultural land, often seen in small flocks (known as coveys)

Habitat: heaths and fields

Common and widespread resident, originally introduced from the Continent and bred for shooting


Stocky with brown back, distinctive black-and-white face, spotted bib and barred flanks; 34 cm

Feed in small flocks (coveys) on fields, eating insects, leaves and seeds; often run away if disturbed

Whirring flight low over ground, followed by glides on bowed wings


Female makes a lined scrape on the ground

1 or 2 broods of up to 15 yellowish eggs speckled red, April–May

© Alan Williams

© Owen Keen