The Kennedy Wild Bird Food Guide to the Grey Partridge

The grey partridge (also known as the English partridge) is a large bird that unfortunately has Red List conservation status in the UK. In this guide, we take a look at some of the most interesting grey partridge facts, and what exactly you can do to help this beautiful bird.

What does a grey partridge look like?

Measuring a length of around 30cm and a wingspan of 46cm, this distinct bird is a brown chestnut and grey colour. It is easily identifiable by its orange head, wing patches and the chestnut/orange tip on its tail.

Male grey partridges are easily identified by the chestnut horseshoe marking on their chest, which is a lot less common and less noticeable in females. 

What does the grey partridge eat?

Unlike many other birds of its size, the grey partridge eats a strict diet consisting of leaves, seeds and insects. They love our economy grade peanut for birds, which are also favoured by other garden birds including tits, finches and woodpeckers!

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The grey partridge’s call

A grey partridge is also easily identifiable by its call, which you’ll likely hear first thing in the morning or last thing at night. If you think you’ve heard a grey partridge but aren’t sure, click here to listen

Grey partridge bird facts

  • Sadly, their numbers have declined by 80% over the last 30 years.
  • The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is working across the UK to creative conservation headlands in order half the declining number of grey partridges.
  • The grey partridge loves to do things differently. It’s strictly a ground bird, meaning you won’t find it darting between trees. However, due to its ground-bird status, numbers have been declining significantly over the years as a result of agricultural intensification.
  • A grey partridge’s egg size can be anywhere from 3.2 – 3.7cm in length, with 10 to 22 legs laid during one single brood.
  • The grey partridge’s scientific name is Perdix perdix, which is derived from the Latin word for partridge.

Where can I spot a grey partridge?

In the UK, you’ll be able to spot a grey partridge in lowland areas, from the South coast up to the Eastern corners of Scotland. The grey partridge is a resident in many areas of the UK, but you’ll be hard pushed to find one in Wales, the South Western tip of England and Northern Ireland.

If you spot a grey partridge near you, don’t forget to log it on our Birdspotter tool for others to see.

bird spotter map