Perdix

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For other uses, see Perdix (disambiguation).
Perdix
Perdix perdix (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
Grey partridge
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Subfamily: Perdicinae
Genus: Perdix
Brisson, 1760
Species

P. perdix
P. dauurica
P. hodgsoniae

Perdix is a genus of partridges with representatives in most of temperate Europe and Asia. One member of the genus, the grey partridge, has been introduced to the United States and Canada.

These are non-migratory birds of open country. The nest is a lined ground scrape in or near cover. They feed on a wide variety of seeds and some insect food.

These are medium-sized partridges with dull-coloured bills and legs, streaked brown upperparts, and rufous tails and flanks barring. Neither sex has spurs on the legs, and the only plumage distinction is that females tend to be duller in appearance.

Grey and Daurian partridges are very closely related and similar in appearance, and form a superspecies. Tibetan partridge has a striking black and white face pattern, black breast barring and 16 tail feathers instead of the 18 of the other species.

None of the species is threatened on a global scale, but the two more widespread partridges are over-hunted in parts of their range. The grey partridge has been badly affected by agricultural changes, and its range has contracted considerably.

The Tibetan partridge seems secure in its extensive and often inaccessible range on the Tibetan plateau.[citation needed]

The bird shares its name with the nephew of Daedalus of Greek mythology, who was transformed into the bird when his uncle murdered him in jealousy. He was killed when thrown headlong down from the sacred hill of Minerva, so, mindful of his fall, the bird does not build its nest in the trees, nor take lofty flights and avoids high places.[1]

Species[edit]

A prehistoric species only known from fossils was described as Perdix palaeoperdix. Occurring all over southern Europe during the Early–Late Pleistocene, it was a favorite food of the Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals. The relationships between the prehistoric species and the grey partridge are somewhat obscure; while very similar, they might be better understood as sister species rather than the grey partridge evolving from the Pleistocene taxon.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Holmes, Richard (2013). Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air. HarperCollins. p. 1760. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 

Sources[edit]

  • Madge, Steve; McGowan, Philip J. K. & Kirwan, Guy M. (2002): Pheasants, partidges and grouse : a guide to the pheasants, partridges, quails, grouse, guineafowl, buttonquails and sandgrouse of the world. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-3966-0