Any of certain species of Old World game bird in the family Phasianidae. The European gray partridge (Perdix perdix), introduced into North America, has a reddish face and tail, gray breast, barred sides, and a dark U shape on the belly. Males may be 12 in. (30 cm) long. The hen lays about 15 eggs in a grassy cup in grainfields or hedges. Family groups (coveys) forage for seeds and insects. The five Asian and 35 African species of francolins (genus Francolinus) have leg spurs and are 10–16 in. (25–40 cm) long. The snow partridge (Lerwa lerwa) inhabits high Asian mountains. Partridges are larger than quail and have a stronger bill and feet. Grouse and bobwhites are often erroneously called partridge.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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