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MEET THE MODEL – REGGIE THE RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE

Meet the Model , Reggie the Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa

Red-legged Partridge

The Red-legged Partridge is a non native plump, round bird, is a fairly common sight on farmland, where it feeds on seeds, leaves and small invertebrates. Also known as the ‘French partridge’, it was introduced to the UK from western Europe during the 1700s as a new gamebird. The red-legged partridge

is sandy, grey-brown above, with intricate black and brown barring on its sides, and a white throat surrounded by a black necklace. The bright red beak and pink-red legs help to identify it. When disturbed, it prefers to run instead of fly, but will fly short distances if absolutely necessary.

Red-legged Partridge have a similar diet to Grey Partridge, chiefly leaves, roots and seeds of grasses, cereals and weeds, and occasionally insects especially when feeding chicks.

They usually nest among bushes in scrub, arable farmland, or hedgerows. Like the Quail and Grey Partridge, the nest is a shallow hollow on the ground and lined with plant material.Red-legged Partridge are peculiar in that the female may build two nests, lay a clutch in each and then the male and female take care of each brood simultaneously and independently. The eggs are smooth and glossy, yellowish-white with reddish-buff or greyish markings, and about 41 mm by 31 mm. The nestlings are precocial and led away from the nest shortly after hatching. The wing feathers grow quickly and they can flutter quite early. The brood remain together until the following breeding season.

British birds are sedentary, moving usually no more than a few kilometres from their natal grounds (place of hatching).

Length: 33-36cm 
Wingspan: 57cm 
Weight: 400-500g 

170,000 breeding pairs
Average lifespan: est. 3-5 years

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