[order] Galliformes | [family] Phasianidae | [latin] Alectoris barbara | [UK] Barbary Partridge | [FR] Perdrix gambra | [DE] Felsenhuhn | [ES] Perdiz Moruna | [IT] Pernice sarda | [NL] Barbarijse Patrijs

Barbarijse Patrijs determination

copyright: J. del Hoyo

Head lacks characteristic pattern of other Alectoris, with grey-white face and throat and deep white-spotted, pink collar not ending in necklace and contrasting less. Scapulars show well-developed rufous spots on bluish ground. Underparts noticeably sandy-buff, making mainly chestnut flank bars less noticeable than on congeners.

In Mediterranean, steppe, and desert zones, at various altitudes up to 3300 m in High Atlas. Catholic in choice of habitat¾found on bare stony hills, in scrub, woodland, locally in orchards. In desert regions, largely in stands of shrubs along dry river beds.

Alectoris barbara has a predominantly North African distribution, but also occurs in Europe in the Canary Islands, Gibraltar and Sardinia (Italy). Its European breeding population is small (as few as 7,500 pairs), and underwent a large decline between 1970-1990. Although the species increased in the Canary Islands during 1990-2000, the trend of the other key population in Sardinia was unknown. Nevertheless, its population size probably still renders it susceptible to the risks affecting small populations, and consequently it is provisionally evaluated as Rare.
This partridge is mainly a bird of North Africa, but it is known from Sardinia, Gibraltar, south-eastern Iberia and the Canary islands. The populations of Gibraltar and Spain, estimated at 50 breeding pairs each, seem fairly stable but vulnerable. However, those of Sardinia and the Canary islands, estimated at 3600-11000 breeding pairs, are strongly decreasing because of maybe on over-hunting, poaching, but also use of pesticides and habitat changes.

The Barbary Partridge takes a wide variety of seeds and some insect food.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 100,000-1,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 15,000-40,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified; there is evidence of a population decline, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Rock partrigdes breed monogamously, pairing occurs from February to March or April depending on latitude. Males appear to defend females rather than territory, this finding is in dispute, however. Males often desert the female after egg-laying. In early fall males rejoin the brood during covey formation. Coveys are formed by one or more broods, often shortly after hatching. Eggs are laid at a rate of one per day to one per 2 days. Clutch size ranges from 10 to 20 eggs, with an average of 15. Clutch size is greatly reduced in drought years; in extreme drought, breeding may not occur at all. Double brooding (production of two consecutive broods in one season) was reported from captive birds, and is suspected to occur in wild birds . Renesting following clutch loss is normal. The incubation period is typically 24 days. The precocial young leave the nest shortly after hatching. Individual flight attempts are usually made by about 2 weeks of age and as early as 10 days after hatching, brood flights (where the entire brood makes a flight together) occur by 3 weeks of age, and by 4 weeks of age the chicks have formed flight habits similar to those of adult Rock partrigdess. The brood and the adult female remain near each other. Rock partrigdes nests are depressions scratched in the ground and lined with leaves and feathers, usually well camouflaged under shrubs or among rocks.

Mainly sedentary, but descends from upper zones of Atlas Mts during heavy winter snows.