Red-legged partridges are surprisingly hard to spot. Despite such colourful plumage, they blend remarkably well into their preferred habitat of heaths and downs. During the breeding season, these partridges have the unusual occasional habit of laying two clutches of eggs in different nests. One clutch is incubated by the female, the other by the male. They were first successfully introduced into Britain during the reign of King Charles ІІ, who was anxious to establish the birds since numbers of the native partridge were falling as a result of over-hunting.
Scientific name: Alectoris rufa
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
The following habitats are found across the Red-legged partridge distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Year assessed: 2009
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds. It is sometimes known as French Partridge, to distinguish it from the Grey or English Partridge.
It is a rotund bird, with a light brown back, grey breast and buff belly. The face is white with a black gorget. It has rufous-streaked flanks and red legs. When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly, but if necessary it flies a short distance on rounded wings.
This is a seed-eating species, but the young in particular take insects as an essential protein supply. The call is a three-syllable ka-chu-chu.
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