We are very fond of our plump round little red legged partridge. We find them endearing as they are happy to hang around our place and free range with our other birds. They are friendly little birds, very attractive in their beautiful monochromatic tones of brown, red and cream. It is a rotund bird, with a light brown back, grey breast and buff belly. The face is white with a black gorget. It has rufous-streaked flanks and red legs. The cocks and hens look very similar but the female is lightly finer in the head and does not have a spur.
Red-legged partridge feed mainly on plant matter such as seeds, leaves, roots, grasses and legumes. It may take fruits occasionally. It also consumes ants, grasshoppers and other insect species, especially in summer. The young in particular consume insects as an essential protein supply. Red-legged partridge feed after emerging from the roost in the early morning, and in the late afternoon. The call is a three-syllable ka-chu-chu. They can be found in Western Europe, in France and Spain and were introduced to Britian some 200 years ago. When they found their way to New Zealand we are not that sure. Probably brought here as a game bird to be released and hunted.
Sadly we no longer have any of these lovely birds due to too many feral predators.