Partridge

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Partridge
CRESTED WOOD-PARTRIDGE (7181284331).jpg
Crested wood partridge
(Rollulus rouloul)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Family:
Horsfield, 1821
Subfamily:
Horsfield, 1821
Genus

Alectoris
Ammoperdix
Arborophila
Bambusicola
Haematortyx
Lerwa
Margaroperdix
Melanoperdix
Perdix
Rhizothera
Rollulus
Tetraophasis
Xenoperdix

Contents

Partridges are medium-sized non-migratory birds, with a wide native distribution throughout the Old World, including Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. They are sometimes grouped in the Perdicinae subfamily of the Phasianidae (pheasants, quail, etc.). However, molecular research suggests that partridges are not a distinct taxon within the family Phasianidae, but that some species are closer to the pheasants, while others are closer to the junglefowl. [1]

Old World Collectively Africa, Europe, and Asia

The term "Old World" is used commonly in the West to refer to Africa, Asia and Europe, regarded collectively as the part of the world known to its population before contact with the Americas and Oceania. It is used in the context of, and contrasts with, the New World.

Perdicinae subfamily of birds

Perdicinae is a subfamily of birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae, regrouping the partridges, Old World quails, and francolins. Although this subfamily was considered monophyletic and separated from the pheasants, tragopans, junglefowls, and peafowls (Phasianinae) till the early 1990s, molecular phylogenies have shown that these two subfamilies actually constitute only one lineage. For example, some partridges are more closely affiliated to pheasants, whereas Old World quails and partridges from the Alectoris genus are closer to junglefowls.

Phasianidae family of birds

The Phasianidae are a family of heavy, ground-living birds, which includes pheasants, partridges, junglefowl, chickens, turkeys, Old World quail, and peafowl. The family includes many of the most popular gamebirds. The family is a large one, and is occasionally broken up into two subfamilies, the Phasianinae, and the Perdicinae. Sometimes, additional families and birds are treated as part of this family. For example, the American Ornithologists' Union includes the Tetraonidae (grouse), Numididae (guineafowl), and Meleagrididae (turkeys) as subfamilies in Phasianidae.

Birds of Persia luchas, called buqalamun (bwqlmwn turkey in Persian), and partridges Birds of Hindustan luchas, called buqalamun, and partridges.jpg
Birds of Persia luchas, called būqalamūn (بوقلمون turkey in Persian), and partridges
The so-called "Vucedol dove", one of the most well-known emblems of the prehistorical Vucedol culture, is now interpreted as representing a male partridge as a symbol of fertility ZGvucdove.jpg
The so-called "Vučedol dove", one of the most well-known emblems of the prehistorical Vučedol culture, is now interpreted as representing a male partridge as a symbol of fertility

Description

These are medium-sized birds, intermediate between the larger pheasants and the smaller quail.

Pheasant bird in family Phasianidae

Pheasants are birds of several genera within the subfamily Phasianinae, of the family Phasianidae in the order Galliformes. Though they can be found world over in introduced populations, the pheasant genera native range is restricted to Asia.

Quail name for several genera of birds in the order Galliformes

Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds generally placed in the order Galliformes.

Range and habitat

Partridges are native to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Some species are found nesting on steppes or agricultural land, while others species prefer more forested areas. They nest on the ground and have a diet consisting of seeds, grapes and insects.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Asia Earths largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres

Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.

Africa The second largest and second most-populous continent, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Hunting

Species such as the grey partridge and the red-legged partridge are popular as game birds, and are often reared in captivity and released for the purpose of hunting. For the same reason, they have been introduced into large areas of North America.

Grey partridge species of bird

The grey partridge, also known as the English partridge, Hungarian partridge, or hun, is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds. The scientific name is the Latin for "partridge", and is itself derived from Ancient Greek perdix.

Red-legged partridge species of bird

The red-legged partridge 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 English or grey partridge. The genus name is from Ancient Greek alektoris a farmyard chicken, and rufa is Latin for red or rufous.

Game (hunting) animal hunted for sport or for food

Game or quarry is any animal hunted for sport or for food, and the meat of those animals. The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world.

Red-legged partridge. Red-legged Partridge.jpg
Red-legged partridge.
Chestnut-bellied partridge. Chestnut-bellied Partridge RWD2.jpg
Chestnut-bellied partridge.
Scaly-Breasted Partridge. Scaly-breasted Partridge.jpg
Scaly-Breasted Partridge.
Grey partridge. Grey Partridge Perdix perdix, Netherlands 1.jpg
Grey partridge.

Cultural references

According to Greek legend, the first partridge appeared when Daedalus threw his nephew, Perdix, off the sacred hill of Athena in a fit of jealous rage. Supposedly mindful of his fall, the bird does not build its nest in the trees, nor take lofty flights and avoids high places. [2]

Daedalus Greek mythological figure

In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a skillful craftsman and artist, and was seen as a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and power. He is the father of Icarus, the uncle of Perdix, and possibly also the father of Iapyx, although this is unclear. He invented and built the labyrinth for king Minos of Crete, but shortly after finishing it king Minos had Daedalus imprisoned within the labyrinth. He and his son Icarus devised a plan to escape by using wings made of wax that Daedalus had invented. They escaped, but sadly Icarus did not heed his father's warnings and flew too close to the sun. The wax melted and Icarus fell to his death. This left Daedalus heartbroken, but instead of giving up he flew to the island of Sicily.

Perdix (mythology) mythical character, nephew of Daedalus

Perdix was a nephew and student of Daedalus in Greek mythology. In other sources, Perdix is the parent of Talos or Attalus.

Athena ancient Greek goddess of wisdom

Athena or Athene, often given the epithet Pallas, is an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, handicraft, and warfare, who was later syncretized with the Roman goddess Minerva. Athena was regarded as the patron and protectress of various cities across Greece, particularly the city of Athens, from which she most likely received her name. She is usually shown in art wearing a helmet and holding a spear. Her major symbols include owls, olive trees, snakes, and the Gorgoneion.

A famous reference to the partridge is in the Christmas carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". [3] The first gift listed is "a partridge in a pear tree", and these words end each verse. Since partridges are unlikely to be seen in pear-trees (they are ground-nesting birds) it has been suggested that the text "a pear tree" is a corruption of the French "une perdrix".[ citation needed ]

The Twelve Days of Christmas (song) English Christmas carol

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" is an English Christmas carol that enumerates in the manner of a cumulative song a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas. The song, published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme, is thought to be French in origin. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 68. The tunes of collected versions vary. The standard tune now associated with it is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin, who introduced the familiar prolongation of the verse "five gold rings".

Pear genus of plants

The pear tree and shrub are a species of genus Pyrus, in the family Rosaceae, bearing the pomaceous fruit of the same name. Several species of pear are valued for their edible fruit and juices while others are cultivated as trees.

The partridge has also been used as a symbol that represents Kurdish nationalism. It is called Kew. Sherko Kurmanj discusses the paradox of symbols in Iraq as an attempt to make a distinction between the Kurds and the Arabs. He says that while Iraqis generally regards the palm tree, falcon, and sword as their national symbols, the Kurds consider the oak, partridge, and dagger as theirs. [4]

Species list in taxonomic order

See also

Related Research Articles

The Sibley-Monroe checklist was a study of birds conducted by Charles Sibley and Burt Monroe. It drew on extensive DNA-DNA hybridisation studies to reassess the relationships between modern birds.

Rock partridge species of bird

The rock partridge is a gamebird in the pheasant family, Phasianidae, of the order Galliformes.

<i>Alectoris</i> genus of birds

Alectoris is a genus of partridges in the family Phasianidae, closely related to Old World quail, snowcocks (Tetraogallus), partridge-francolins (Pternistis), bush quail (Perdicula), and sand and see-see partridges (Ammoperdix). Members of the genus are known collectively as rock partridges. The genus name is from Ancient Greek: αλέκτωρ, translit. alektor, rooster.

Tibetan partridge species of bird

The Tibetan partridge is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes. They are found widely across the Tibetan Plateau and have some variations in plumage across populations. They forage on the ground in the sparsely vegetated high altitude regions, moving in pairs during the summer and in larger groups during the non-breeding season. Neither males nor females have spurs on their legs.

Snow partridge species of bird

The snow partridge is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae found widely distributed across the high-altitude Himalayan regions of India, Pakistan, Nepal and China. It is the only species within its genus. The species is found in alpine pastures and open hillside above the treeline but not in as bare rocky terrain as the Himalayan snowcock and is not as wary as that species. Males and females look similar in plumage but males have a spur on their tarsus.

Chinese bamboo partridge species of bird

The Chinese bamboo partridge is a small Galliform bird. It is one of two species in the genus Bambusicola, along with the mountain bamboo partridge of the Himalayas. Long believed to be a relative of Perdix, scientists established that bamboo partridge are close relatives of the long-billed partridge and junglefowl.

<i>Arborophila</i> genus of birds

Arborophila is a genus of bird in the Phasianidae family. The genus has the second most members within the Galliformes after Francolinus although Arborophila species vary very little in bodily proportions with different species varying only in colouration/patterning and overall size. These are fairly small, often brightly marked partridges found in forests of eastern and southern Asia. Some species in this genus have small ranges, and are threatened by habitat loss and hunting.

Chestnut-necklaced partridge species of bird

The chestnut-necklaced partridge is a species of bird in the family Phasianidae. It is found in forests in the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo. It is threatened by habitat loss and trapping. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed it as vulnerable.

White-necklaced partridge species of bird

The white-necklaced partridge, also known as the collared or Rickett's hill-partridge, is a species of bird in the family Phasianidae. It is endemic to southeastern China. It is threatened by habitat loss and hunting, and the IUCN has assessed it as near-threatened.

Red-breasted partridge species of bird

The red-breasted partridge, also known as the Bornean hill-partridge, is a species of bird in the family Phasianidae. It is endemic to hill and montane forest in Borneo, preferring bamboos and thickets. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed it as a least-concern species.

Phasianinae subfamily of birds

The Phasianinae are a subfamily of the pheasant family (Phasianidae) of landfowl, the order Galliformes. The subfamily includes pheasants, tragopans, junglefowl, peafowl, and other similar birds. Although this subfamily was considered monophyletic and separated from the partridges, francolins, and Old World quails (Perdicinae) till the early 1990s, molecular phylogenies have shown that this two subfamilies actually constitute only one lineage. For example, some partridges (genus Perdix) are more closely affiliated to pheasants, whereas Old World quails and partridges from the genus Alectoris are closer to junglefowls.

Hoses partridge species of bird

The Hose's partridge, also known as Dulit partridge, has been considered a distinctive subspecies of the long-billed partridge, a bird in the Phasianidae, or pheasant, family. It is endemic to Borneo, where it appears to be separated altitudinally from the nominate subspecies, and is often considered now to be a full species, Rhizothera dulitensis. It is little-known, rare, and has not been recorded since 1937.

<i>Pternistis</i> genus of birds

Pternistis is a genus of galliform birds formerly classified in the francolin group of the partridge subfamily of the pheasant family. They are described as "partridge-francolins" in literature establishing their phylogenetic placement outside the monophyletic assemblage of true francolins. Its 23 species range through sub-Saharan Africa. They are commonly known as francolins or spurfowl, but are closely related to jungle bush quail, Alectoris rock partridges, and Coturnix quail. The species are strictly monogamous, remaining mated indefinitely. They procure most of their food by digging. Partridge-francolins subsist almost entirely on roots, beans of leguminous shrubs and trees, tubers, and seeds, and feasting opportunistically on termites, ants, locusts, flowers, and fruit. Important predators are jackals, caracals, servals, and birds of prey, as well as herons and marabou storks.

References

  1. "Molecular phylogenetics and evolution: A molecular phylogeny of the pheasants and partridges". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 11: 38–54. doi:10.1006/mpev.1998.0562 . Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  2. Holmes, Richard (2013). Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air. HarperCollins. p. 1760. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  3. The Associated Press (November 26, 2012). "'12 days of Christmas' cost: How much is a partridge in a pear tree?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  4. Kurmanj, Sherko (2014). "The Roots of Modern Kurdish Nationalism". In Bengio, Ofra. Kurdish Awakening: Nation Building in a Fragmented Homeland. University of Texas Press. p. 96. ISBN   978-0-292-75813-1.