Grey Partridge Perdix perdix

A plump, round gamebird the grey partridge is locally common but now thinly distributed and becoming scarce in most parts of the country. A farmland bird, it feeds on seeds, leaves and small invertebrates. When disturbed, grey partridges prefer to run instead of fly but they will fly low to the ground if necessary. They breed in open scrub and farmland, close to hedges or other vegetation, laying their eggs on the ground in a grass-lined scrape.

Behaviour

The orange face and black horseshoe-shaped patch on the belly immediately identifies the grey partridge. It is grey-brown above with a grey chest and orange-brown stripes down the flanks.

Size

Length: 29-32cm Wingspan: 46cm Weight: 390g Average Lifespan: 3 years

Status

Classified in the UK as a Red List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review and as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Distribution

England and the lowland parts of Scotland and Wales.

When to see

January – December

Facts

Also known as the 'English partridge', our grey partridge population declined by 50% between 1969 and 1990; their estimated population is now 70-75,000 pairs.

Common name

Grey Partridge

Species name

Perdix perdix

When to see in Scotland

January – December

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