The Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds. It is sometimes known as French Partridge, to distinguish it from the Grey or English Partridge.
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.
This partridge breeds naturally in south western Europe, in France and Iberia. It has become naturalised in southern England, where it was introduced as a game species, and has been seen breeding in Lancashire. It is replaced in south eastern Europe by the very similar Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca). It is a non-migratory terrestrial species, which forms flocks outside the breeding season.
This species breeds on dry lowlands, such as farmland and open stony areas, laying its eggs in a ground nest.
Red-legged partridge Red-legged partridge with scientific name "Alectoris rufa" calls "Kew, kev, Kewk, keví, and kevkí" in Kurdish. Red-legged partridge is normally thirteen inches in length, but does not mention either its breadth or weight. The bill, legs, and orbits are red; the irides hazel; chin and throat dull white, surrounded by a black line or streak, which passes from the brow and nostrils to the eyes, behind which it continues, falls down before the auriculars, and meets on the lower part of the neck: a white streak extends from the brow over the eyes towards the hinder part of the neck; the forehead is bluish ash, fading into a rusty chesnut behind, where the feathers are somewhat elongated, and can be erected or depressed at pleasure; the hinder part of the neck is rusty chesnut, formed into a stripe, which falls down towards the shoulders; the rest of the neck is pale ash, inclining to blue, with numerous longish spots of black; below this, to the shoulders and breast, the plumage is rusty brown, with a vinous reflection; the belly and thighs pale rusty chesnut; the breast pale lead grey; sides beautifully ornamented with stripes composed of black, bright reddish chesnut, and white; the upper parts of the plumage are rufous brown, somewhat tinged with olive grey; quills nearly the same, but darker, the outer edges yellowish; vent brownish ash: the tail consists of sixteen feathers, the middle ones greyish brown, the outer ones deep reddish chesnut; under coverts of the tail nearly the same: the legs are furnished with a kind of double knob instead of a spur.
These birds are found in various parts of Kurdistan; and are common in Germany, France, and Italy; the islands of Madeira, Guernsey and Jersey; but the accounts of their breeding in England, are contradictory. In a wild state, they prefer woody and heathy wastes, to in closed ground, but they are easily tamed, and soon become offensively familiar.
Adult Red-legged Partridges are sandy-brown above, pinkish-buff on the belly, and pale grey on the breast, with a prominent gorget of black streaking, bold rufous and black flank-bars, a cream throat, pink legs, and a red bill and eye ring.
The crown and upper nape of adult Red-legged Partridge are a warm pinkish-brown; the fore crown and lateral edges of the crown are pale blue-grey, and the bird has a narrow off-white supercilium running from above the lores to the sides of the lower nape. The lores have a solid bar of black feathering above a patch of pinkish-red skin. This black colouration continues behind the eye, where it broadens, and then extends down around the throat-patch to meet the upper edge of the gorget. There is a patch of pale buff-brown feathering on the ear-coverts, adjoining the black. The eye is surrounded by a bright red eye-ring.
The chin and upper throat are creamy-white, and are bordered behind and below by a solid black gorget. The black colour continues down onto the lower throat as a patch of broad triangular black streaks on a pale sandy-grey background. Similar, but narrower, black streaks are present on a pale blue-grey background on the upper neck-sides, while the lower neck-sides are warm pinkish-brown. The breast is pale blue-grey, and the belly pinkish-buff. The flanks are marked with bold bright rufous-brown bars, typically between eight and ten; each bar has a narrow black leading edge, the background colour is off-white in front of each bar, and pale grey behind.
The upper parts are plain, unmarked dark sandy-grey. The uppertail-coverts are similar in colour, and contrast with the pinkish-rufous tail-feathers.
The bill is bright red, the iris is medium brown, and the legs are pinkish-red.