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Chukar - Alectoris chukar

Characteristics
Range
Habitat
Diet
Life Cycle
Behavior

 Classification

 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Galliformes 
 Family: Phasianidae
 Genus: Alectoris

Chukar
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern
    Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org David Farrow cc logo
  Characteristics

ChukarThe chukar is a non-native species that was introduced to North America as a game bird in the late 1800s. It is native to the mountainous areas of the Middle East and Asia from eastern Greece and southeastern Bulgaria through Asia Minor east to Manchuria China. It is a  member of the pheasant family.

ChukarIt stands about 13-15 inches in length and has a light grayish-brown back and wings and a white belly. Its head, chest and rear are gray and it has white cheeks and a white throat surrounded by a black band. It has black stripes on its sides and a black band across its forehead. Its bill, eyelids, feet and legs are pink to dark red. Males and females look alike.

  Range

mapThe chukar can be found from British Columbia and Alberta south to California and Colorado. The chukar has also been introduced to Hawaii. It is also found in Europe and Asia.



  Habitat
ChukarThe chukar lives on rocky, arid hillsides and mountain slopes and canyon walls. It is also found in open and flat desert areas with little vegetation and on barren plateaus. It is an altitudinal migrator and will move from higher elevations to lower elevations during snowy weather.
  Diet

ChukarThe chukar feed on seeds, grasses, bulbs, stems, fruit and leaves. It also eats small amounts of insects like grasshoppers, caterpillars, crickets and ants.

 

  Life Cycle
Male and female chukars form pairs from February through April. The male will perform a courtship ritual that involves head-tilting and showing his barred flanks. Both the male and female will call out to each other and peck at objects on the ground.

ChukarThe female lays 8-15 eggs in a scrape lined with grass, leaves and feathers within the shelter of rocks or brush. The male will often leave the female after she has laid her eggs. The chicks hatch after about 24 days and will leave the nest and start feeding on insects shortly after hatching. They will begin to fly when they are about two weeks old.

  Behavior
The chukar rarely flies. It is a good runner and can also hop across the rocky terrain in its habitat. Except for during breeding season, chukars live in coveys of up to 40 birds.

 


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