(Last Updated on : 07/06/2013)
Partridges belong to the game bird family (Phasianidae) which also includes pheasants and jungle fowl. They are squat, short-tailed ground-dwelling birds of the size of a half-grown domestic hen. A number of species are found, mostly in the plains, but some, i.e. Chukor, Snow Partridge, also high up in the Himalayas
. The commonest and best known species both as a sporting bird and a table delicacy is the Grey partridge (Francolinus pondicerianus) found throughout the drier parts of the subcontinent. It is greyish brown, barred and vermiculated with buff, rufous and black, blending in a beautifully camouflaging pattern.
The challenging, spirited call of the male enlivens the open countryside. The female often weaves in a single high-pitched note, producing a perfectly timed duet. Taken young, Grey Partridges make interesting free living pets. Cock birds are highly pugnacious and commonly kept by fanciers as fighting birds.
In the better-watered parts of North India and the peninsula southward, the place of the Grey is taken by the Black and Painted Partridges respectively. All these species are good runners and prefer to trust to their legs and lie low in thickets rather than fly to escape predators. They will burst out of cover with a whirl of wings only when beaten out.
This article is a stub. You can enrich by adding more information to it. Send your Write Up to email@example.com