Friday, April 8, 2011

Game Birds

A pair of Gray Partridges (Perdix perdix).   An introduced species from Eastern Europe, formerly known as Hungarian Partridges and still referred to as Huns by those of us who grew up on the prairies in the goodle days.  Ha!

Partridges are usually seen in small flocks or coveys of 6-8 birds.  However, this time of the year, they get married and toddle off in pairs....

Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus).  A native bird, often called 'prairie chickens' but they aren't.  These are referred to as 'Sharpies' - not to be confused with Sharp-shinned Hawks which are also called 'Sharpies' by those of us who like to nickname everyone and everything. 

And, three Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) cocks, chasing and fighting.  Settle down, guys.  At least wait till there are some girls around to be impressed.

Memo to self:  get up and out birding earlier and try to find some grouse leks.


  1. All my favorites K. And when I lived in Sask we could always go out the back door and pick them up for dinner.

  2. Tribune's version of a deli (in season, of course, ahem)

  3. Those Huns were much tougher to get close to than pheasants. Now they are very rare here in southeastern Minnesota, though I did see a flock that fall. The first in several years. :) Oh and prarie chicken are only found along the North Dakota border.

  4. I think the Huns are declining everywhere, though I still see quite a lot around my area. There's a well-known Prairie Chicken lek near Bowbells, ND - not too far from here.

  5. Partridge are such beautiful birds. All the game birds are. I really need to take a road trip south soon!

  6. Yes, they are and Yes, you do.