Chukar Partridge or chukar with a scientific name "Alectoris chukar" is a Eurasian upland game bird in the pheasant family Phasianidae. It has been considered to form a super species complex along with the rock partridge, Philby's partridge and Przevalski's partridge and treated in the past as co specific particularly with the first. This partridge has well marked black and white bars on the flanks and a black band running from the forehead across the eye and running down the head to form a necklace that encloses a white throat. The species has been introduced into many other places and feral populations have established themselves in parts of North America and New Zealand. This bird can be found in parts of Middle East.
Structure of Chukar Partridge
Chukar Partridge is a round 32-35 cm long partridge, with a light brown back, grey breast, and buff belly. The shades vary across the various populations. The face is white with a black gorget. It has rufous-streaked flanks, red legs and coral red bill. Sexes are similar, the female slightly smaller in size and lacking the spur. The tail has 14 feathers, the third primary is the longest while the first is level with the fifth and sixth primaries. It is very similar to the rock partridge (Alectoris graeca) with which it has been lumped in the past but is browner on the back and has a yellowish tinge to the foreneck. The sharply defined gorget distinguishes this species from the red-legged partridge which has the black collar breaking into dark streaks near the breast. Their song is a noisy chuck-chuck-chukar-chukar from which the name is derived. The Barbary partridge (Alectoris barbara) has a reddish brown rather than black collar with a grey throat and face with a chestnut crown. Other common names of this bird include chukker (chuker or chukor), Indian chukar and keklik.
Concentration of Chukar Partridge
Chukar Partridge has its native range in Asia, including Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India along the inner ranges of the Western Himalayas to Nepal. Chukar Partridge is also found further west in south eastern Europe it is replaced by the red-legged partridge, Alectoris rufa. It barely ranges into Africa on the Sinai Peninsula. The habitat in the native range is rocky open hillsides with grass or scattered scrub or cultivation. In Israel and Jordan it is found at low altitudes, starting at 400 m (1,300 ft) below sea level in the Dead Sea area, whereas in the more eastern areas it is mainly found at an altitude of 2,000 to 4,000 m (6,600 to 13,100 ft) except in Pakistan, where it occurs at 600 m (2,000 ft). They are not found in areas of high humidity or rainfall.
Introduction of Chukar Partridge
It has been introduced widely as a game bird, and feral populations have become established in the United States (Rocky Mountains, Great Basin, high desert areas of California), Canada, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and Hawaii.
Habitat of Chukar Partridge
Chukar partridge is part of a confusing group of "red-legged partridges". Several plumage variations within the widespread distribution of the chukar partridge have been described and designated as subspecies. In the past the chukar group was included with the rock partridge (also known as the Greek partridge).