Grey partridge

Grey partridge

©Margaret Holland

Grey partridge

Grey partridge ©David Tipling/2020VISION

Grey partridge

Scientific name: Perdix perdix
The grey partridge is an attractive bird that prefers the ground to pear trees! Found on farmland and grassland, it is under threat from loss of habitat.

Species information


Length: 29-32cm
Wingspan: 46cm
Weight: 390g
Average lifespan: 3 years

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Red under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.

When to see

January to December


The grey partridge is common in parts, but is becoming scarce around much of the country. A farmland bird, it feeds on seeds, leaves and small invertebrates. When disturbed, it prefers to run instead of fly, but will fly low to the ground if necessary. It breeds in open scrub and farmland, close to hedges or other vegetation, laying its eggs on the ground in a grass-lined scrape.

How to identify

The grey partridge has an orange face and black horseshoe-shaped patch on its belly. It is grey-brown above with a grey chest and orange-brown stripes down the flanks.


Found in England and the lowland parts of Scotland and Wales.

Did you know?

Also known as the 'English Partridge', the grey partridge lays the largest number of eggs of any bird - in some place, up to 19 eggs can form a clutch!

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.