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A photo of a Rufous-throated Partridge (Arborophila rufogularis), male
Rufous-throated Partridge, Male

Rufous-throated Partridge

Arborophila rufogularis

The Rufous-throated Partridge, Arborophila rufogularis, is a modestly sized bird, measuring between 26 to 29 centimeters in length. Males are somewhat heavier than females, with weights ranging from 325 to 430 grams for males and 261 to 386 grams for females. This species exhibits a charming blend of colors, with males sporting a grey forehead and an olive-brown crown and nape adorned with black mottles. A distinctive whitish supercilium and moustachial curves grace their faces, while the throat and neck-sides boast an orange-rufous hue speckled with black. Their breast and flanks are a soft blue-grey, transitioning to a whitish central belly and a buffy-brown vent. The mantle, back, and rump maintain the olive-brown coloration, and the scapulars and wing coverts are banded with chestnut, black, and greyish tones. The beak is a dusky-brown or blackish color, and the legs present in shades of pinkish or crimson. Females resemble males in appearance, while juveniles are duller below with brown and black vermiculations on the crown and flanks.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Rufous-throated Partridge, look for the orange-rufous throat with black speckles and the blue-grey breast and flanks. The whitish supercilium and moustachial curves are also key features. The bird's size and the color bands on the scapulars and wing coverts can help distinguish it from similar species.

Habitat

This partridge favors montane forests, thriving mainly at elevations of 1,800 to 3,000 meters. It has a particular affinity for oak forests that also contain laurels and rhododendrons.

Distribution

The Rufous-throated Partridge can be found across a range of countries in South and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Behaviour

These birds are social, often seen feeding in groups of five to ten. They are omnivorous, with a diet consisting of seeds, plant shoots, berries, insects, and snails. When startled, they may either run or take flight, occasionally alighting on branches in a manner akin to some thrush species. At night, they roost in trees, huddling together much like babblers.

Song & Calls

The Rufous-throated Partridge communicates with a rising series of "hu-hu" whistles. In a duet, one may hear the partner respond with a "kew-kew-kew" call.

Breeding

Breeding season for this species varies by region, occurring from April to July in India and from February to May in China. The male prepares a scrape in bamboo, forest undergrowth, or along water for nesting, which is then lined with grass. The female lays a clutch of three to five white eggs.

Similar Species

While there are no specific similar species mentioned, the Rufous-throated Partridge can be differentiated from other partridges by its unique throat coloring and the bands on its wing coverts.

Diet and Feeding

The Rufous-throated Partridge's diet is diverse, including seeds, plant shoots, berries, insects, and snails. They forage on the forest floor in small groups.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Rufous-throated Partridge as a species of Least Concern. Although its population is experiencing a decline due to habitat destruction and unsustainable hunting practices, the decline is not considered rapid enough to raise its threat level, and it benefits from a large range.

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Rufous-throated Partridges on Birda

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Akharachai Rojbundit
11 Feb 2023 - 3:01pm
Thailand

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