basic information

Grey Partridge

Perdix perdix (Linnaeus, 1758)

Серая куропатка | Сұр шіл

Western Kazakhstan.
© Ainur Iskakova


Lives in the steppe and forest-steppe zones and also in the foothills of Eastern and South-Eastern Kazakhstan. Please see the detailed distribution in Kazakhstan in the section Subspecies.


Common resident. Inhabits forest edges, riparian forests, shelterbelts, groves and shrubby steppes both on plains and in mountains up to 2000 m. Most of the year lives in flocks which in spring (March) break up into pairs. Nest is built under bush or grass in shallow hole lined with grass stems and leaves. Clutches of 11-26 eggs in April – May. Only female incubates clutch for 21-26 days from the laying of the last egg; male sometimes helps her. Chicks hatch in June, but some brood with half-grown chicks recorded in August – early September also. Repeated breeding is most likely explanation. In autumn birds disperse fairly large distances from breeding grounds, though details of dispersing are not known.


Perdix perdix lucida (Altum, 1894)

    Description. General colour dark, with the faintly expressed olive or ash-grey tinge on upper parts. Sizes somewhat smaller than robusta. Upper wing coverts, mantle and rump are brown or brownish-black barred (bars on rump and upper tail coverts are rather broad). "Cap" on crown is formed by almost merged black spots which are bordered with narrow grey strip. Ear feathers brown or black-brown. Throat and head-flanks are greyish-red. Scaly pattern on craw is very almost invisible on females. Belly-patch is brownish-red or brown. Flanks are with reddish-brown spots.
    Distribution. Breeding in Volga-Ural interfluve.

Perdix perdix robusta (Homeyer et Tancre, 1883)

    Description. General colour is lighter, the grey tone is purer than lucida. Size is larger than other races, wings rather long and narrow. The ashy tinge on upper parts is lack or faintly developed only on scapulars and rump. Barring pattern on rump and upper tail coverts formed by narrow bars. Head-flanks and fore-neck are rusty. Ear feathers are somewhat darker than general background. "Cap" bordered with neat grey (often bluish-grey) strip. Breast is pure grey. Craw patterned with thin and rare black bars. Spots on flanks are rusty or light brown. Belly-patch is dark-brown or black-brown.
    Distribution. Breeding in northern Kazakhstan from Ural river valley up to Altai (Bukhtarma, Markakol lake), to the south up to Mugodzhary ridge, upper reaches of Tobol and Ishim rivers and Zaysan depression.

Perdix perdix arenicola (Buturlin, 1904)

    Description. General colour is lighter, size smaller, wing more rounded and somewhat broader than robusta. "Cap" is small, brownish, often without grey bordering. Head-flanks and throat are light yellowish-red. Ear feathers and rear-neck are grey. Pattern on craw is neat and rare, but not as bright as on robusta. Belly-patch is small (often lack on females), dark-rusty or chestnut-red. Flanks have dark-rusty or chestnut-red spots which are much darker than on other races. Upper parts are greyish-buffy patterned with brown or pale-brownish bars often sandy or smoky tinged. Tail feathers have chestnut or reddish shade.
    Distribution. Breeding in southern Kazakhstan from Mugodzhary ridge eastward to Tarbagatay and Zaysan depression, to the south up to northern Ustyurt, Syrdarya valley, adjusted plains, foothills up to low altitudes of Tien Shan (2000 m).


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург. Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.



Perdix perdix lucida
(Altum, 1894)
Perdix perdix robusta
(Homeyer et Tancre, 1883)
Perdix perdix arenicola
(Buturlin, 1904)


Perdix (perdix x dauurica)

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