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Other Names: Rock Partridge, Chukor
Subspecies: A. c. kleini, A. c. cypriotes, A. c. sinaica , A. c. kurdestanica, A. c. werae, A. c. koroviakovi, A. c. shestoperovi, A. c. subpallida, A. c. falki, A. c. dzungarica, A. c. pallescens, A. c. pallida, A. c. fallax, A. c. chukar, A. c. pubescens, A. c. potanini.
Range: The Chukar is the most widespread of the partridge species. Naturally, the species is found in semi-arid, rocky grasslands from Turkey, the Mediterranean islands, Iran and east through Russia and China and south into Pakistan and Nepal. The Chukar has also been successfully introduced into western North America, the Hawaiian Islands, England and New Zealand. Failed attempts have been made in Australia, Mexico, and Great Britain. Since they are very common in captivity and often kept and released on shooting ranges, escaped birds have shown up across the world and in a variety of habitats. In the United States, I have seen several in here Missouri and have heard from those who have seen them in New York, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Texas, and Virginia. Some even showing up in suburban backyards and office complexes! Often these birds are alone or in a pair and seldom do they breed outside of the introduced states that provide the optimal habitat for the species.
Habitat: Prefer rocky terrains, but have been observed in a variety of open woodlands and grasslands.
Brief Description: The Chukar is mostly overall grayish brown with a black band from the eyes, down to below the neck; this band surrounds the white buffy face and throat. The flanks are banded black and white with slight buff tinges. The sexes are similar, with the female having a smaller knob on the legs than the males. Males also appear to be somewhat larger as well. Both sexes share the bright red bill and legs.
Status in Wild: Varies in different areas of natural range, but is conisdered stable and not threatened. The population in North America is doing very well and they are popular with hunters in the west. Wild populations also receive a boost when many thousands are released each year for sport.
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