Background

Like most Partridges, the Red-Legged Partridge is a medium sized game bird with a plump figure. The adults are a grey brown, with a chesnut, black and white barring on the breast. As the name suggests, the legs of this species are red, alongside the beak and eyes.

Habitat

The Red Legged Partridge lives in Southern England, Spain and western France. They are quite commonly seen in lowland terrain such as farmlands and heaths.

Diet

This bird is both an herbivore and insectivore, mainly eating leaves, seeds and small invertebrates such as beetles and worms.

Predators & Threats

Being a game bird, the Red-Legged Partridge is highly focused on species for hunting. Another primary threat to this species is their hybridization which has led to the reduction in genetic purity. Natural predators include domestic animals and foxes. Large birds of prey also feed on their eggs.

Facts

  • Occasionally the Red-Legged Partridge reproduces using a double clutch system, meaning that the female lays eggs in two nests. The male incubates one, and the female incubates the second. This is quite rare within the bird kingdom.
  • They were introduced during the reign of King Charles II in response to the decline of native partridge populations.
Common Name(s)Scientific Name
 Red Legged Partridge, French Partridge.Alectoris rufa 
Size
 30 – 40 cm
Lifespan
 1-6 years.

Best Time to Look

All year round.

Where to find Red-Legged Partridge