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Red partridge: where it lives, natural habitat and breeding. How to distinguish males from females, reproduction and mating.
Its scientific name is alectoris rufa, is a bird of the Phasianidae family and of this there are 5 subspecies such as:
- Alectoris rufa rufa - the Italian species, lives, in fact, in France, in Corsica, on the Island of Elba and mainly in the north-western area of Italy.
- Alectoris rufa race
- Alectoris rufa hispanica - lives in the northern and western Iberian Peninsula.
- Alectoris rufa intercedens - lives in the eastern and southern Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands
- Alectoris rufa australis
Due to the decrease in its habitat (attributed to intensive farming practices and only marginally to urbanization), the population ofred partridgeare decreasing and this animal is placed on the Red List as a species at least risk of extinction.
It is very similar to theGreek partridge(Alectoris graeca) and shares part of its habitat with thepartridge pardus(Perdix perdix orpartridge or gray partridge).
Therered partridgeit measures between 33 and 38 cm in length for a weight of about 450 grams. It has a sturdy neck, a short tail and a slightly curved downward beak. Its name is linked to the presence of a coloringredintense at the level of the head. The feathery coat is of warm shades between brown and reddish.
Partridge male and female
Sexual dimorphism is present. Theremale red partridgehas a black vein positioned in the upper part of the chest, this vein is very bright, more summery and of more intense shades than the female specimen. Another useful indicator forrecognize a female partridgeFrom onemale partridgeare the paws.
In the specimens of partridge male, on the back of the legs, there is a voluminous protuberance called "ram". This protuberance is very pronounced and reaches a length greater than 8.6 mm. Infemale partridge, on the other hand, this protrusion is completely absent or not very pronounced (at most 8.4 mm).
Between the sexes there is also a clear difference in the length of the wings: more than 15.8 cm in the male and less than 15.4 cm in the female.
Gender can be recognized from the third month of age. The appearance and color of the plumage of thepartridgein fact, it varies in the various stages of development, so much so as to have a juvenile shape (white throat without a black border, greyish plumage…), a typical shape in the first year of life and the characteristic shape in adults.
It is important to keep in mind that thisbirdperforms the first postnupital moult between October and November, the post-juvenile moult is partial and occurs gradually between August and November.
Red partridge: where it lives
It is a very sedentary animal, hishabitatis given by dry plains (where it reproduces), it can in fact be found in agricultural areas, open stony areas, earthy plains ... it is in these areas thatred partridgebuilds his ownnest.
It lives mainly in open spaces (rural countryside areas), in Mediterranean scrubs and in clearings of coppice woods. In hishabitathis naturalsupplyit is based on berries, seeds and sporadically insects.
Red partridge: where to find it?In Italy it can be observed in the Ligurian Apennines, on the Tuscan-Emilian one and on the Island of Elba.
Red partridge: breeding
This bird is bred and marketed for food. The farms are also popular for hunting purposes: thered partridgeis bred and then released in special reserves to allow hunters toshoot it... it is a bird that does not like to fly very much, but walks and runs, takes flight only if extremely necessary.
It can be useful: guinea fowl, breeding
Reproduction of the red partridge
The reproduction begins with the courtship where a male points more females, between the months of January and February it is possible to witness violent fights between the males precisely because they try to mate with a greater number of females. Mating takes place between March and April. When the female has been fertilized, the male goes away to look for new females with which to mate.
The female begins the search for anest in the ground, typically thepartridge nestit is found in ditches, holes in the ground, hidden among hedges, furrows of cultivated fields, tree roots, low bushes…. It is in these areas that egg laying takes place.
L'red partridge eggs incubationit is mainly done by the female - only sometimes by the male -. The incubation lasts about 23 days after which the chicks are born. The chicks, just after hatching, leave the nest to follow the mother and are immediately able to look for food but do not stray from the maternal range of action.