Friday 17 May
Chukar (Alectoris chukar)
Chukar fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
The most distinguishing features of this attractive bird are the vivid black and white stripes that decorate the wings and the black band that runs across the eyes, resembling a blindfold. The upper body and head feathers of the chukar are brown, becoming more bluish-grey towards the lower body and tail. The face is white, and the beak is short, strong, and orange in colour. Chukar chicks have cream and brown down, with pale undersides (2). There are 14 subspecies of chukar, identifiable by differences in plumage and other morphological traits (3). Chukars inhabiting more humid areas tend to be darker and more olive in colour, while those in more arid areas are a paler grey or yellow (2).
- Also known as
- Chuckar, chukar partridge.
- Perdrix chukar.
- Height: 32 – 39 cm (2)
- Wingspan: 47 – 52 cm (2)
- Male weight: 510 – 800 g (2)
- Female weight: 450 – 680 g (2)
- Kept warm so that development is possible.
- Having only one mate during a breeding season, or throughout the breeding life of a pair.
- Referring to the visible or measurable characteristics of an organism.
- A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
IUCN Red List (March, 2010)
- McGowan, P.J.K. (1994) Family Phasianidae (Pheasants and Partridges). In: Del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (Eds.) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
- Randi, E. and Alkon, P.U. (1994) Genetic structure of chukar (Alectoris chukar) populations in Israel. The Auk, 111(2): 416-426.
BirdLife International (March, 2010)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Within its wide range, breeding times for the chukar vary, depending on location and altitude (2). This usually monogamous bird typically lays a clutch of 7 to 12 eggs, which are incubated for 22 to 25 days (2).
The diet of the chukar consists mainly of shoots, grains, bulbs and, particularly during the winter, the roots of grasses and shrubs which the chukar digs out of the soil (2). In the summer, ants and insects are also included in the diet, while chicks feed primarily on the seeds of grasses and weeds (2). Foraging begins in the morning as the chukar works its way uphill searching for food. Although it is a strong and fast flier over short distances, the chukar typically remains on the ground (2).Top
The chukar has an extremely large native range, spanning countries from Eastern Europe to China, Russia and Africa. Furthermore, it has been introduced to many other areas, including the United States, Canada, New Zealand and elsewhere within Europe. The species is currently regionally extinct from Kuwait (4).Top
A terrestrial bird, the chukar prefers dry and arid habitats (2) (4), characterised by stony slopes, short grass and shrubs, often situated near cultivation (2). The chukar is commonly found at 3,000 to 4,500 metres above sea level, descending from higher altitudes in winter (2).Top
Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
The chukar has a large range and a large, stable population and so is not currently considered to be at risk of extinction (1). However, in some areas the chukar has been affected by habitat loss, for example in Azerbaijan (2). Harsh winters and pesticide use may affect populations in Turkey, and hunters and poachers can be a problem for this bird in the USA and Canada (2).Top
As the chukar is not currently considered to be threatened, there are no widespread conservation measures in place for this bird (4). However, the chukar has been a protected species in Turkey since 1990, due to a sharp population decrease in that area of its range (2).Top
Find out more
To learn about bird conservation efforts around the world, see:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.