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Pheasants and Partridges

Game birds in the UK all belong to the order Galliformes. The cocks of most species are more colourful than the hens. Their food consists of grains and insects that they obtain by picking off the ground. They tend to fly relatively short distances with rapid wing beats and the flight will usually end in a long glide before the bird lands. They are present from lowland farms through woodland to mountain areas above the tree line with each spe

Grey partridge (Perdix perdix)

The native partridge of Britain and Ireland. It is found on agricultural land but numbers have recently declined and this is blamed on intensive agriculture and the use of pesticides as insects are important in the diet of the chicks. In winter it is found in family groups or coveys. Many of the birds now found in the UK are reared commercially and released into shooting areas.


Red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa)

This is an introduced species into Britain. In many places it is more common than the native grey partridge. It is larger than the grey partridge and as its diet is largely vegetable matter it thrives better in areas of intensive agriculture. As with the grey partridge it is found in coveys in winter time and many birds are commercially reared and released into shooting areas each year.


Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

The pheasant is common throughout the British Isles. It is thought to have been introduced by the Romans but now breeds freely in the wild. There are numerous strains present in the country, all of which can freely interbreed. It inhabits open farmland and woods and may also be found on the outskirts of many large towns if open land is available. At night the birds roost in trees for protection from predators. Diet consists of both vegetable matter and insects. Birds may be artificially reared for release in shooting areas.



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