Your guide to red-legged partridges

A birdspotter’s guide to these beautiful and enigmatic birds.

Where did red-legged partridges originate and when did they arrive in the UK?

Commonly known as the French partridge, the red-legged partridge is native to south-west Europe but were first recorded in the UK in 1770.

How can you recognise them?

They have a distinctive large white chin and throat patch surrounded by a black border. Their legs are very pink or red-coloured, hence the name ‘red-legged’ partridge.

The red-legged partridge can measure from 32 to 34cm and weighs about 500g, about half a bag of sugar.

Where and when can you see them?

Red-legged partridges can be seen across England and in lowland areas of eastern Scotland and Wales. It is possible to see them all year round.

If you enjoy walking through woodlands, grasslands or heathlands you may be lucky enough to see one foraging for seeds and roots. When startled, they prefer to run away but may also fly for short distances.

How can I help red-legged partridges?

Up to 38,000 red-legged partridges are shot every day during hunting season in the UK. For the sake of these magnificent birds, please consider contacting your MP today to express your concerns about ‘game’ bird shooting.

Contact my MP

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