Crested partridge (Rollulus rouloul)

Male crested partridge
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Crested partridge fact file

Crested partridge description

GenusRollulus (1)

The male of this rather plump partridge bears a spectacular maroon crest and sports a glossy black plumage, which shimmers with green, blue and purple iridescence (2) (4). Contrasting starkly with this lustrous dark plumage is the vivid red colouration of the legs, feet, base of the beak, and bare skin encircling the eyes, as well as a conspicuous white forehead patch at the base of the crest (4). The female is very different from the male, but equally distinctive, with an olive-green body, chestnut-brown wings, grey head and black bill (2) (4). Like the male, the female has vivid red legs and feet and a circle of red skin around the eyes (5).

Also known as
Crested wood partridge, roulroul.
Phasianus roulroul.
Perdiz Rulrul.
Size: c. 26 cm (2)
Male weight: c. 232 g (2)
Female weight: c. 202 g (2)

Crested partridge biology

Crested partridges feed and nest on the ground, but roost in the trees at night (2) (5). These colourful birds can usually be seen in parties of five to fifteen individuals, foraging for food in the leaf-litter of the forest floor (4). There are reports of associations with wild pigs, with these birds feeding on discarded fragments of fruit that they would be unable to tackle whole. In addition to fruits, their diet includes seeds, large beetles, wood ants and small snails (2).

The breeding season for this forest-dwelling bird varies throughout its range, and in some countries, breeding can continue for most of the year (2) (5). The nest may simply be a depression in dry leaves (5) or a large domed structure constructed of leaves and twigs by either the male or female (7). The female lays a clutch of five to six eggs, which she incubates alone for 18 to 19 days (in captivity), although both parents subsequently care for the hatchlings (2) (7).


Crested partridge range

The crested partridge ranges across Southeast Asia, from south Myanmar and south-west Thailand, through Peninsular Malaysia to the islands of Sumatra (Indonesia) and Borneo (2).


Crested partridge habitat

Found in broadleaved evergreen, dense primary forests and bamboo, mainly in lowland plains and foothills, but up to 1,550 metres in places (2) (6).


Crested partridge status

Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1) and listed on Appendix III of CITES in Malaysia (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Near Threatened


Crested partridge threats

Once a widespread species, this forest-dwelling bird is threatened by the alarming rate of lowland deforestation throughout its range (2) (8). Fortunately, this resilient bird tolerates secondary, selectively-logged forest and remains locally common, even despite high hunting pressure in several areas (6) (8).


Crested partridge conservation

This colourful, forest-dwelling bird is reported from several protected areas in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia (2).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For more information on the crested partridge see:

  • del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1994) Handbook of the Birds of the World - New World Vultures To Guineafowl. Vol. 2. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

For more information on this and other bird species please see:



Authenticated (24/11/2006) by Dr. John P. Carroll, Chair of the IUCN-SSC/BirdLife International/WPA Partridge, Quail and Francolins Specialist Group.



Primary forests
Forests that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
Secondary forest
Forest that has re-grown after a major disturbance, such as fire or timber harvest, but has not yet reached the mature state of primary forest.


  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2008)
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1994) Handbook of the Birds of the World - New World Vultures To Guineafowl. Vol. 2. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. CITES (June, 2006)
  4. Dedicated to the Aviculture and Conservation of the World’s Galliformes (August, 2006)
  5. Lee Richardson Zoo (August, 2006)
  6. BirdLife International (August, 2006)
  7. Saint Louis Zoo (August, 2006)
  8. Zoological Museum of the University of Amsterdam (ZMA) (August, 2006)

Image credit

Male crested partridge  
Male crested partridge

© Kenneth W. Fink /

Ardea wildlife pets environment
59 Tranquil Vale
United Kingdom
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