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Montana Field Guides

Chukar - Alectoris chukar

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Exotic Species (not native to Montana)

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 4
PIF:


 

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Copyright by: The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, all rights reserved.
 
General Description
Sexes are identical in appearance, with white cheeks and throat separated from the breast by a necklace of black. Adults are grayish brown to olive above, grading to gray on the chest. The sides are buff, with conspicuous black and chestnut vertical stripes, and the belly is buff. The outer tail feathers are reddish-brown. The bill, feet, and legs are red. Adult males and females range from 13 to 15 inches in length; adult males average 19.6 ounces in weight, and adult females, 15.7 ounces.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Gray (Hungarian) Partridges are somewhat smaller than Chukars, and have grayish-brown bodies with cinnamon-colored heads.

General Distribution
Montana Range



Western Hemisphere Range

 


Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 72

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

Breeding
(direct evidence "B")


Breeding
(indirect evidence "b")


No evidence of Breeding
(transient "t")


Overwintering
(regular observations "W")


Overwintering
(at least one obs. "w")



 

(Records associated with a range of dates are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Habitat consists of steep, rocky, semi-arid country with an abundance of cheatgrass and brushy draws. In western Montana they used brushy areas all year; were near springs late in summer; and grain fields in winter. Semi-arid lands with shrubby cover near steep, rocky hills is used (Davis 1961). They are most successful in sagebrush-juniper or sagebrush-bitterbrush with cheatgrass and bunchgrasses (Mussehl 1971).

Food Habits
In western Montana they prefer green grass leaves, cheatgrass seeds and grains. In early spring the diet is green grass and forb leaves; in summer it is seeds and insects; in late summer and fall it is chokecherries; and in winter waste grain, seeds, and grass and forb leaves are eaten (Mussehl 1971).

Reproductive Characteristics
In western Montana broods average 8.1 young and the average hatching date is June 29. In Washington nesting begins in early April, and hatching begins in late May and June (Johnsgard 1986). Nesting chronology may be much the same in Montana.

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View WorldCat Record   View Online Publication
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    • Alcorn, J.R., and F. Richardson. 1951. The Chukar Partridge in Nevada. J. Wildl. Manage. 15:265-275.
    • American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. 7th edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. 829 pp.
    • Ames, Vince, 2001, Letter dated August 25, 2001, from Vince Ames (Landowner), to Larry Urban, Wetlands Mitigation Coordinator, Montana Dept. of Transportation. In Vince Ames (Wetland Mitigation Site) WS#13, West Yellowstone, Carbon Co. Fin.Dist.5 Admin.Dist.5.
    • Anonymous. 1959. Chukar partridge. Montana Wildlife. November.
    • Bergeson, W. R. 1951. The chukar in Montana how it is faring. Sporting Montana. 1(2):15.
    • Bergeson, W. R. 1952. Survival of chukar partridge releases. Montana Fish and Game Department. P-R Quarterly Report. April-June: 104-113.
    • Christensen, Glen C. 1996. Chukar (Alectoris chukar). Species Account Number 258. The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved 3/25/2008 from The Birds of North America Online database
    • Ehrlich, P., D. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birder’s handbook: a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. Simon and Schuster Inc. New York. 785 pp.
    • Johnsgard, P. A. 1988. The quails, partridges, and francolins of the world. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. 264 pp.
    • Johnsgard, P. A. 1992. Birds of the Rocky Mountains with particular reference to national parks in the northern Rocky Mountain region. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. xi + 504 pp.
    • Jonkel, G. M. 1954. A comparative study of survival of fall and spring released chukar partridges (ALECTORIS GRAECA CHUKAR). M.S. thesis. University of Montana, Missoula. 70 pp.
    • Lenard, S., J. Carlson, J. Ellis, C. Jones, and C. Tilly. 2003. P. D. Skaar's Montana Bird Distribution, 6th Edition. Montana Audubon: Helena, MT, 144 pp.
    • MOLINI, W. A., 1976, CHUKAR PARTRIDGE, SPECIES MANAGEMENT PLAN
    • Montana Bird Distribution Committee. 2012. P.D. Skaar's Montana bird distribution. 7th Edition. Montana Audubon, Helena, Montana. 208 pp. + foldout map.
    • Sandfort, W.W. 1965. Long range management plans for game species: Chukar partridge. Unpubl. rep., Colo. Dep. Game, Fish and Parks. Denver. 18 pp.
    • U.S. Forest Service. 1991. Forest and rangeland birds of the United States: Natural history and habitat use. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Agricultural Handbook 688. 625 pages.
    • Whitney, C. 1971. Chukar partridge. pp. 175-179 in T.W. Mussehl and F.W. Howell (eds.), Game Management in Montana. Montana Department of Fish and Game, Helena. 238 pp.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Chukar"
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Citation for data on this website:
Chukar — Alectoris chukar.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on July 30, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/detail_ABNLC03010.aspx
 
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