Friday, April 6, 2012
Echo Canyon, First Finger, Fossil Ridge - 4/6/12
The Chukar Partridge or Chukar (Alectoris chukar) is a Eurasion upland gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae. This partridge has well marked black and white bars on the flanks and a black band running from the forehead across the eye and running down the head to form a necklace that encloses a white throat.
In the non-breeding season, Chukar Partridge are found in small coveys of 10 or more (up to 50) birds. In summer, Chukars form pairs to breed. During this time, the cocks are very pugnacious calling and fighting. During winter they descend into the valleys and feed in fields. They call frequently during the day especially in the mornings and evenings. The call is loud and includes loud repeated "Chuck" notes and sometimes duetting "Chuker" notes. When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly, but if necessary it flies a short distance often down a slope on rounded wings, calling immediately after alighting.
The breeding season is summer. Males perform tidbitting displays, a form of courtship feeding where the male pecks at food and a female may visit to peck in response. The males may chase females with head lowered, wing lowered and neck fluffed. The male may also performs a high step stiff walk while making a special call. Males are monogynous. The nest is a scantily lined ground scrape, though occasionally a compact pad is created with a depression in the center. Generally, the nests are sheltered by ferns and small bushes, or placed in a dip or rocky hillside under a overhanging rock.
Chukar roost on rocky slopes or under shrubs. In winter, birds in the US selected protected niches or caves. A group may roost in a tight circle with their heads pointed outwards to conserve heat and keep a look out for predators. ~ Wikipedia ~