Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Galliformes Family: Phasianidae
BTO Codes: RL, RELPA EURING No: 3580
Number in Britain: 82 thousand Territories (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: Not Assessed
European: 2 Concern, most in Europe; Declining
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (C1)  Introduced Breeder
Subspecies: rufa recorded in Britain (of 4 subsp. in the world)
Length: 33 cm Wingspan: 48 cm Weight: M/F: 490 g    
Scientific name from: Gr.: alektoris=domestic hen and L.: rufus=ruddy
World Distribution: sw Europe, INTRODUCED: Britain, c Europe
Habitat: Open or scrubby country, farmland
Diet: Seeds (grain and weed), leaves, roots
Identification Tips:
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Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore    BBS Maps
British Population Size:
    Summer: 82 thousand Territories in 2009
    First Record: Suffolk, c. 1770
    First Breeding Record: Introduced Suffolk 1770
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status:
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 Not Assessed     1996-2001 Not Assessed  
   Races of Concern:
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Arable Farmland
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
European Population Size:
    Summer: 2 to 4.5 million pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WBD(II*&III*), Bern(III)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 40 x 31 mm Egg Weight: 20.1 g (of which 10 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 3
Clutch Size: 10 - 16 eggs
Incubation: 23- 24 days   by the: Female or Male
Fledging: 10 days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1/2
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: No data
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: Typical Lifespan: No data
Maximum Recorded Age: Too few birds ringed
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: Not Ringed
Wing Length Adult: Insufficient Data
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
Weight Adult: Insufficient Data
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data

Other Names

Gaelic: Cearc-thomain-dhearg-chasach Welsh: Petrisen Goesgoch
Danish: Rødhøne Dutch: Aziatische steenpatrijs
Finnish: Vuoripyy French: Perdrix chukar
German: Chukarhuhn Hungarian: Csukár
Icelandic: Berghæna Irish: Patraisc Chosdearg
Italian: Coturnice orientale Norwegian: Balkanhøne
Polish: Góropatwa czerwona Portuguese: Perdiz-chukar
Spanish: Perdiz turca Swedish: Berghöna
Local Names: French Partridge
Collective Noun:Covey

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Johnsgard, P.A. 1988 The Quails, Partridges, and Francolins of the world Oxford University Press [598.544 JON]
   Madge, S. & MacGowan, P. 2002 Pheasants, partridges and grouse Pica Press, Sussex [598.544 MAD]
   Potts, G.R. 2012 Partridges Collins, London [598.544 POT]
See Also:
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Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides