VIDEO: Partridges in thawing snow

Video Ahto Täpsi
Photo Arne Ader
Translation Liis
A flock pf grey partridges were busy in Sahargu village in Viru County under the branches of spruces. A passing caterpillar scared the birds into a run, tails white from thawing snow…
Partridge; Grey partridge   Nurmkana        Perdix perdix
Towards the end of October last year, partridges formed groups that keep together until spring – however the winter will turn out, it is easier to be in a group and there are more watchful eyes to recognize threats. It is a sedentary bird that spread in Estonia together with agriculture which also their earlier Estonian name põldpüü, “field püü” points to. They have become few in Estonia. We can meet them in shrubs on the verges of fields as well as meadows, on the slopes of river brinks, forest clearings and felling areas, and on pebble shores. Towards evening the partridge groups move on road verges picking up gravel.
The partridge hen as well as cock are both sturdily built, and with  similar grey plumages. Length is about thirty centimetres, weight of larger ones up to four hundred grams. We can discover quite many colours in their plumage - the forehead is brick red and so are the eye area and throat and the outer tail feathers. The back and flanks have brown flecks. The beak is dark and legs grey. Earlier the large dark brown horse-shoe shaped patch was believed to be a characteristic only of the cocks.
They feed only on the ground, looking for weed seeds, grains spilled during the harvest, various parts of herbs, berries too and some animal food if it is available – snails, arthropods.
If they are disturbed the flock rises into flight but they fly low in the air, with fast “whirring” wing beats. The flight distance will not be particularly long and they land characteristically, in an abrupt arc.
See observations of partridges: LINK




My Nature Calendar

Help to do better - send Your observations about nature.