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Chukar Alectoris chukar


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credit: Mdf/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Phasianidae, Pheasants and Grouse view all from this family

Description ADULT Has red bill, creamy white throat and lower face, defined by black border that runs through eye. Crown, nape, and breast are blue-gray, grading to buffy brown on back; note pale supercilium behind eye. Belly is buff and flanks are marked with striking black and white lines. JUVENILE Has scaly brown plumage with a hint of adult's head and flank markings; adult plumage acquired by fall.

Dimensions Length: 13-15 1/2" (33-39 cm)

Habitat Native range is the Middle East eastward. Introduced for hunting and now locally common; introductions continue to occur. Favors dry, stony slopes and desert canyons with scrubby cover.

Observation Tips Typically, views are brief, birds being glimpsed as they scuttle from one patch of vegetation to another. Easier to hear than to see in spring, when males are calling.

Range Northwest, Southwest, California, Western Canada, Plains, Rocky Mountains

Voice Male utters repetitive chuk-ar chuk-ar calls.

Discussion Well-marked, secretive partridge. Sometimes seen in small groups (coveys) outside breeding season. Seldom takes to the air willingly, but, if flushed, rises noisily on whirring wingbeats and glides away. Sexes are similar.