Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) Bird Facts and Information
Length: 35 cm. The male and female red-legged partridge birds have like coloration.
Weight: 370 to 770 grams; game bird.
Voice: A ‘chuck, chuck-er’ call note, explosive ‘pitchi-i’ alarm signal ; also a variable ‘tschreck’.
Size of Egg: 41.4 X 31.0 mm on the average.
Red-legged Partridge Inhabit
The red-legged partridge inhabits the mountain areas, but also lowlands and hills with fields and vineyards, of southwestern Europe and England. In recent years it has been introduced into many parts of central Europe, but without much success to date, for it has many enemies in these new locations, a typical example being the fox.
Red-legged Partridge Bird Nesting
The red-legged partridge prefers stony places covered with grass and sparsely dotted with shrubs, beneath which it builds its nest in a depression in the ground, only sparingly lined with leaves and grass stems.
The 8 to 15 eggs are incubated by the hen for 24 days, while the male roams the neighborhood, returning to his family when the young are born. The nestlings usually leave the hollow on the second day, following in the hen’s wake, and by the end of a week begin their first attempts at flight.
The parent birds guide them in search of food, which the chicks gather for themselves. Even after they are fully grown the young remain in the company of their parents, families later forming groups of about 20 birds. After sunset, they seek shelter in rock crevices or protected rocky ledges, but despite such precautions, many red-legged partridges fall prey to raptors and predators.
In spring the male’s loud cry may be heard before dawn. In winter, flocks of these partridges descend into the valleys to seek places free from snow. Their diet consists of seeds, berries, grass, insects, molluscs and worms. It has been determined that the red-legged partridge eats about 90 different species of plants.