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Buff-throated partridge

Tetraophasis szechenyii

Photo by Hu Yong (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
buff-throated partridge (en); perdiz-faisão-de-papo-pardo (pt); tétraophase de Szecheny (fr); perdiz-faisán gorgiclara (es); rostkehl-keilschwanzhuhn (de)

Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae

This species is found in the mountains of Tibet, in south-western China and marginally into extreme north-eastern India.

These birds are 30-60 cm long and weigh 660-1.800 g.

The buff-throated partridge is found in high-altitude habitats including fir and oak forests and grasslands and scrublands above the treeline, also using rocky areas. They are present at altitudes of 3.300-4.600 m.

They feed mainly on the leaves, roots, stems, bulbs, fruits and seeds of various herbs and scrubs, also taking moss and in some areas rice and corn provided by local monasteries.

Buff-throated partridges breed in April-June. They are monogamous and can either breed in solitary pairs or show cooperative breeding, with up to 3 helpers, mostly males, participating in brooding and nest defense. They nest either in scrapes in the soil, lined with leaves, sticks, and bark, and usually located at the base of a tree or scrub, or in a stick nest placed on a tree branch. The female lays 3-4 eggs which are incubated for about 4 weeks. The chicks are precocial, leaving the nest soon after hatching, and are then guided by the mother until fledging.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is considered very rare and local in India, but thought to remain widespread and not uncommon in the China. The population in eastern Tibet was estimated at 25.000-40.000 individuals. There is no information on population trends.

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