Chukar / Alectoris chukar / حجل فلسطيني (شنار)

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Status: Common

Chukar belongs to the Phasianidae family in the Galliformes order. It is easy to identify it by its body size, similar to a small chicken,stocky structure and plumage. The sides of its body are decorated with gentle black and white stripes and a black frame, which circles the face and “bib.” Both the legs and bill are colored red and, in particular, the legs are strong. The brown-grey appearance gives it the ability to flee when danger arrives. When spotted by an enemy, the Chuckar can jump and fly quickly, departing from the source of danger like an arrow. Typically, the Chukar will only fly if the danger is near and imminent. Otherwise it prefers to rest on the ground or run away to take cover. The Chukar breeds on the ground, where it lays up to 10 eggs. When hedged, the chicks run and follow their parents immediately and begin flying at very young age. Families of Chuckars sometimes mix and therefore it is common to see one adult Chukar with 20 to 30 chicks following it. In the past, the Chukar was sought after prey for hunters, but because of the sharp decline in its numbers hunting it is forbidden now. The Chukar inhabits south east Europe, Turkey and the Middle East, Asia, and as far as western China. It is a resident bird in all of its distribution range.

Conservation status – least concern.

Migratory Behaviour: Resident breeder