Red-Legged Partridge

Red-Legged Partridge

Scientific name: Alectoris rufa

Did you know: The Red-Legged Partridge, also called, ‘French partridge’, was first introduced to the UK in the 1700s from Western Europe and has since become a familiar sight in certain UK regions!

What Do Red-Legged Partridges Look Like? (how to identify them)

Red-Legged Partridges are larger than their Grey Partridge counterparts, measuring 32-34 cm in length with a wingspan of 47-50cm. They are distinguished by their large white chins and throat patches that are bordered by black. 

Their body is greyish, adorned with bold black flank stripes and a chestnut-sided tail.

Differences Between Male And Female Red-Legged Partridges

The adult male partridge has a rounded orange head, red bill, and black breast, with white flanks, a brown back, and a black tail. Females are primarily pale brown with a darker back and crown, and a whitish face. Eclipse males resemble females but retain the red bill.

What Do Red-Legged Partridges Eat?

These birds primarily feed on seeds and roots, foraging on the ground in their preferred habitats.

Where Do Red-Legged Partridges Live? (inc. migration info)

Native to southwestern Europe, the Red-Legged Partridge has established itself in flat areas of England and Wales. They are non-migratory, forming flocks outside the breeding season, and prefer dry lowlands such as farmland and open stony areas.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Red-Legged Partridges)

The vocalisations of Red-Legged Partridges are characterised by coarse, raspy chuckles. When asserting their territory, they emit a call that begins quietly and escalates into a loud sequence of rhythmic, two or three-note ‘chuk-chuk’ sounds. 

When startled, these birds issue a high-pitched, shrieking sound to raise alarm.

Fun Red-Legged Partridge Facts (kid friendly)

  • Known for its bright red legs and beak.
  • It’s larger than a Grey Partridge but smaller than a Pheasant.
  • Prefers to run rather than fly when disturbed.
  • The young take insects for protein.
  • Forms large flocks in winter, often mixing with other duck species.
  • Has been known to cohabit with wild rabbits.
  • Can be spotted in areas of England, including Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire.
  • Part of the pheasant family, Phasianidae.
  • Introduced to the UK for game purposes.
  • Faces threats from habitat loss and overhunting in its native range.

Facts About The Red-Legged Partridge

Diet: Seeds and roots.
Bird Family: Pheasants and partridges
Length: 32-34cm
Wingspan: 47-50cm
Weight: 400-550g
Scientific Name: Alectoris rufa

The Red-Legged Partridge Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Red-Legged Partridge Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile