Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Chinese Bamboo-partridge (Bambusicola thoracicus)


French: Bambusicole de Chine German: Graubrauen-Bambushuhn Spanish: Bambusícola china
Other common names: Bamboo Partridge (when lumped with B. sonorivox)

Perdix thoracica


, 1815,

India; error = China


Normally treated as conspecific with B. sonorivox; recent genetic data support their split#R. Recent phylogeographical study of thoracicus recovered significant genetic differentiation among populations (no haplotype common to all 13 populations sampled), and identified two distinct clades (one in C & W of range, other in E), with important Pleistocene refugia for these two lineages in SW mountains and Luoxiao Mts, respectively#R. Monotypic.


S China from E Sichuan E to Fujian and S Zhejiang and SE through Guizhou to N Guangdong. Introduced to Japan.

Descriptive notes

c. 30–32 cm; male 242–297 g, female 200–342 g. Distinctive head pattern comprising brown crown and nape, with reddish tips to feathers, bluish-grey forehead... read more


Male advertising call is loud, resonant “gi-gi-gi-gi-gi-gi-gigeroi-gigeroi”, while male... read more


Occurs in bamboo forest, shrubs and grassy areas at up to 1000 m, or in places to 2000 m. Roosts in... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds (including nuts), shoots, leaves and invertebrates (introduced birds in Japan take locusts, termites and ants); has been noted... read more


No information available on season, except for introduced Japanese population, where breeding commences mid Apr. Mating system also unknown... read more


Short seasonal migrations reported, with birds on tops of hills in summer, but lower down in winter... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Believed to be safe from extinction because of fairly large range (estimated at 1,280,000 km²) and the fact that species is... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K., Kirwan, G.M. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Chinese Bamboo-partridge (Bambusicola thoracicus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2019).