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 Partridge

In the British Isles we have the Grey Partridge and the Red Legged Partridge The original English grey partridge and the introduced French or red-legged partridge. Both have their place in the shooting scene here in the British Isles and both have much to offer the sportsman.

Grey Partridge

The grey partridge is listed on the endangered species list.

Once seen regularly, especially outside of the breeding season. The decline of the native English partridge has been well documented and the irony is that the reasons for its decline are widely known. The main reason for the bird’s decline in numbers is the loss of habitat, as the hedgerows were removed in the early part of the 20th century to create larger fields in southern Britain.

With the removal of the hedgerows went the bird's protective cover and a major portion of its food source. The spraying of cereal crops with insecticide has also a contributory factor to the grey partridges demise along with many other species.

Efforts have been made to ensure that spraying is not carried out at the edges of fields resulting in grey partridges are holding their numbers is some parts of southern England, but it is considered that the grey partridge will never again reach the levels of pre first world war. When seen they usually appear in groups of 6 to 18 flying low through the dry winter grass.

A medium-sized, plump game bird with a distinctive orange face with a cry which is a harsh “skeeer-ick” call.

In flight the partridge has a distinctive action, with whirring wings and occasional glides, showing a chestnut tail.

Red-legged partridge

The Red-legged Partridge was brought to the British Isles from Europe, where it is largely found in France and Spain. It’s call sounds like 'chuk chuk chuk chukaa.'

The Red-legged Partridge is an attractive bird, with a distinctive white china and throat patch, which is ended with black, making it a striking bird. It is larger than the grey partridge, with a greyish body with bold black flank stripes, and a chestnut-sided tail.

Unlike the Grey Partridge, the Red-legged Partridge likes to cleared sand and gravel workings and open fields, and in the winter on open woodland.

The Red-legged partridge is most numerous in England, especially in the east, with some birds in the Welsh borders and in eastern Scotland. Usually seen in groups in open fields where it feeds on roots and seeds, where it can be seen all the year round

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