050 (Grey) Partridge
(Perdix perdix)


28-32cm. The Grey Partridge is a compact bird, with rounded body and small, rounded head. Usually encountered as an entire flock is flushed, all at once, and with excited calls and noisy, rapid series of wingbeats and short stiff-winged glides, flies a short way low over the ground; the image caught is of grey-brown birds with rusty-red on the tail. Seen closer, this is a handsome bird, with orange-brown ‘face’ and throat, chestnut-brown flank-bars, delicately vermiculated ash-grey breast and a large horseshoe-shaped blackish-brown belly patch. Sexes similar (male ‘cleaner’, with better-marked pattern). female's belly patch smaller, less clear.


The Grey Partridge is widespread, common breeder throughout Hungary. The species, however, has undergone a serious decline in population since the 1950s, even in the past decades. Breeds on agricultural areas farmed extensively, pastures, at the edge of arable land, primarily on places where it finds woody vegetation as shelter. Resident, gathers in flocks during wintertime.

050 (Grey) Partridge pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008