Chukar Partridge. The Chukar, Alectoris chukar, is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds.
This partridge has its main (native) range in Asia and southeastern Europe, and is closely related and similar to its western equivalent, the Red-legged Partridge, Alectoris rufa. It has been introduced widely, and became established in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Hawaii. In Great Britain, hybrids between this species and the also introduced Red-legged Partridge are common.
This is a resident breeder in dry, open and often hilly country. It nests in a scantily lined ground scrape laying 8-20 eggs. Chukar takes a wide variety of seeds and some insect food.
It is a rotund bird, with a light brown back, grey breast and buff belly. The face is white with a black gorget. It has rufous-streaked flanks and red legs. When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly, but if necessary it flies a short distance on rounded wings.
It is very similar to Rock Partridge, Alectoris graeca, but is browner on the back and has a yellowish tinge to the foreneck. The sharply defined gorget distinguishes this species from Red-legged Partridge. The song is a noisy chuck-chuck-chukar-chukar.
Partridges are one of the mildest-tasting game birds. They average 10 to 12 ounces dressed, or perhaps 14 ounces for a fat gray-legged bird. Partridge meat tends to be tough; they are traditionally hung in a cold room or in refrigeration for several days before plucking. This process ages the meat, tenderizes it, and some would say, improves the flavor.
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