Alectoris chukar

Order: Galliformes
Order Description: Pheasant, Grouse, Turkey, Quail
Family: Phasianidae
Family Description: Pheasant, Grouse, Turkey, Quail

Physical Description:
13-15 1/2" (33-39 cm). Gray above, on breast, and on rump; lighter below; breast and wings tinted with rufousClick word for definition. Blackish brown eye stripe that curves around a whitish face to connect to a blackish chin stripe. Dark reddish, vertical stripes on flanksClick word for definition. Dark orange bill and eye ring; lighter orange legs.

Similar Species- Northern Bobwhite, Gray Partridge

Repeats its name in a series of chucks: chuck-chucka-chuck-chucka-chuck.

Native to Eurasia. Introduced and resident in North America from south-central British Columbia, northern Idaho, and central and eastern Montana, south to northern Baja California, southern Nevada, northern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and south-central Colorado.

Found on rocky hillsides, mountain slopes with grassy vegetation, open and flat deserts with sparse grasses, and barren plateaus.

Feeds primarily on seeds and leaves. Also eats some fruits and insects.

Builds concealed nest on ground, or in rocks or bush. Most foraging activity occurs in mid-morning, but may continue into afternoon. Frequently inactive and near water at mid-day in hot weather. In favorable habitat, population densityClick word for definition can reach levels of 1 bird/4 hectares. In late summer, family groups may join and form larger groups. Males reportedly may leave female during incubation and spend summer with other males. Idaho study found greatest dispersion in spring; in summer birds restricted themselves to tree-shrub vegetation adjacent to water. A habitat-use study in north-central Idaho was initiated in 1994 by the Idaho Dept. Fish & Game.

clutchClick word for definition size varies from 8-15 eggs. Incubation lasts 22-23 days (some authorities state male may incubateClick word for definition first clutchClick word for definition while female lays second). Nestlings are precocialClick word for definition. Young are almost full-size at 84 days.

Element Code: ABNLC03010
Status: Game species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SE
National Rank: NE

Important State References:
Oelklaus, W.F. III. 1976. Chukar partridge dispersion along the middle and lower Snake and Columbia Rivers. M.S. Thesis, Univ. Idaho, Moscow. 56pp.

Photo byC. Trost,© 1999
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.