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Species Guide

Philby's Partridge

Alectoris philbyi

Philby's partridge, also known as Philby's rock partridge, is a bird with a striking resemblance to its relatives, the chukar, red-legged, and Barbary partridges. It boasts a greyish-brown plumage, with the flanks adorned by bold bands of black and pale buff. A distinctive feature setting it apart from its kin is the presence of black cheeks and throat, which are neatly outlined by a slender white line that demarcates the boundary with the greyish-blue head and nape. The bird's beak and legs present a soft pink hue.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify Philby's partridge, look for the unique black cheeks and throat, which are a reliable distinguishing characteristic. The thin white line separating this dark area from the head and nape is also a key identifier. The bird's overall greyish-brown coloration with black and pale buff bands on the flanks will aid observers in distinguishing it from similar species.


This partridge favors the rocky slopes and sparsely vegetated terrains, where it can be found at elevations ranging from 4,500 to 9,000 feet. Its preference for such rugged landscapes provides it with the necessary cover and resources for survival.


Native to the southwestern regions of Saudi Arabia and the northern parts of Yemen, Philby's partridge is a species well-adapted to the arid conditions of these areas.


Philby's partridge is a terrestrial bird, spending much of its time on the ground. It is known to feed on a diet consisting of seeds, plant material, and small invertebrates. The breeding season spans from April to June, during which time the female lays a clutch of five to eight eggs. These eggs, pale buff in color and flecked with pink, are incubated for approximately 25 days.


During the breeding season, which occurs from April to June, Philby's partridge lays a clutch of five to eight eggs. The eggs are nestled in a ground nest and exhibit a pale buff coloration with pink flecks. The incubation period lasts around 25 days.

Conservation status

Philby's partridge is currently classified as "Least Concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This status is attributed to the bird's wide range and presumably large population. However, it is important to note that the species has faced threats from habitat destruction in the tribal areas of Northern Yemen, particularly during the Arab Spring.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of Philby's partridge is composed of seeds, various plant materials, and small invertebrates, which it forages from the ground within its rocky habitat.

Relationship with Humans

Philby's partridge has piqued the interest of kosher bird expert Chaim Loike, who is investigating its status as a kosher species. Although it is relatively uncommon, it has been introduced to aviculture in the United States since the 1980s and is fairly common within this context.

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More Pheasants & Allies

A photo of a Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara)

Barbary Partridge

Alectoris barbara
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