Red-legged Partridges aka French Partridges

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Red-legged PartridgeThe Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) is also known as French Partridge to distinguish it from the Grey or English Partridge.

This partridge breeds naturally in south western Europe, in France and Iberia. It has become naturalised in southern England, where it was introduced as a game species. It is replaced in south eastern Europe by the very similar Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca). It is a non-migratory terrestrial species, which forms flocks outside the breeding season.

This species breeds on dry lowlands, such as farmland and open stony areas, laying its eggs in a ground nest.

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-syllabled ka-chu-chu.


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