[order] Galliformes | [family] Phasianidae | [latin] Alectoris chukar | [UK] Chukar Partridge | [FR] Perdrix chukar | [DE] Chukarhuhn | [ES] Perdiz chukar | [IT] Ciukar | [NL] Aziatische Steenpatrijs

Aziatische Steenpatrijs determination

copyright: youtube

A chunky, medium-sized bird introduced into North America from Eurasia, the Chukar is a pale-colored, but boldly patterned bird. The bird's red bill and legs contrast with its pale gray upperparts. A black line surrounds the bird's whitish throat and cheek, and extends over its eyes. The Chukar's sides are cream with bold black stripes. Pale orange under-tail coverts and red outer feathers adorn its short gray tail.
Often found in small groups, especially in the winter, Chukars feed primarily on the ground, but will climb into shrubs or trees for berries.

Chukars can be found on steep, dry, rocky slopes with shrub-steppe vegetation. Because cheatgrass is a major food source, Chukars are often spotted near this introduced grass. They survive at elevations ranging from 500 to 4,000 feet.

Alectoris chukar is resident in south-eastern Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of its global range. Its European breeding population is large (>660,000 pairs), but underwent a large decline between 1970-1990. Although the species was stable in much of its European range during 1990-2000, it declined substantially in its Turkish stronghold, and probably underwent a large decline (>30%) overall.
The first Chukars were introduced in North America in 1893. They thrive on overgrazed open ranges where there is no agriculture. Chukars typically exist in areas unoccupied by other upland birds, thus their introduction does not interfere with native species.

In the winter, Chukars feed primarily on seeds, cheatgrass, and thistles, switching to insects and green leaves in the summer. Many of the Chukar's major food sources, like the bird itself, have been introduced from Eurasia.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 kmē. It has a large global population estimated to be 100,000-150,000 individuals. Global population trends have not been quantified, but populations appear to be stable so 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]

To make the nest, the female creates a depression in the ground and lines it with grass, twigs, and feathers. The nest is typically hidden under a shrub or rock. Clutches are large, with 8-14 eggs that the female incubates. Female Chukars sometimes lay a second clutch of eggs that the male will incubate while she continues to incubate the first. Shortly after hatching, the young leave the nest to find their own food, although one or both parents will continue to tend them for some time.

Generally sedentary, but may make seasonal altitudinal movements.