Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix)


French: Perdrix grise German: Rebhuhn Spanish: Perdiz pardilla

Tetrao Perdix


, 1758,

Europe = Sweden


One recent study found that this species was sister to P. dauurica#R. Internal taxonomy requires revision. Geographical variation appears to be largely clinal, and individual variation considerable#R: proposed race †italica normally included within nominate, as also are hilgerti and borkumensis (latter a new name for pallida), plus sphagnetorum, based on recent analysis#R; caucasica and rossica are subsumed within lucida, furvescens within canescens, and arenicola and buturlini within robusta. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. perdix (Linnaeus, 1758) – British Is and S Scandinavia S to Alps and Balkans.
  • P. p. armoricana E. J. O. Hartert, 1917 – Brittany, Normandy and C France N to Ardennes and Morvan Mts.
  • P. p. hispaniensis Reichenow, 1892 – NE Portugal and N Spain.
  • P. p. lucida (Altum, 1894) – Finland E to Ural Mts and S to Black Sea and N Caucasus.
  • P. p. canescens Buturlin, 1906 – Turkey, Caucasus, Transcaucasia and NW Iran.
  • P. p. robusta Homeyer & Tancré, 1883 – basin of lower R Ural E through Kazakhstan to SW Siberia (W Sayan Mts) and NW China (W Xinjiang).
  • Introduced and reintroduced to many parts of Europe, including Finland, Britain, Russia and France; also successfully introduced to USA and Canada.

    Descriptive notes

    29–31 cm; male 325–600 g, female 310–570 g; wingspan 45–48 cm. Male larger than female. Very variable, especially in terms of greyer or browner... read more


    Both sexes give well-known, metallic-sounding ‘rusty-gate’ vocalization from raised... read more


    Grassland in temperate zone, steppe regions and open arable landscapes; recorded to 2470 m in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on seeds of grains and weeds, cereals and clover, and grass leaves; also insects such as beetles (Coleoptera), aphids and bugs.... read more


    Lays from late Apr in Britain; early May to Jun in C Europe; and late May to Jun in Sweden; renesting until Aug–Sept. Usually... read more


    Mainly sedentary, but in E Europe is partially migratory, and nomadic in bad weather. Performs... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. Considered safe because still widespread and total population estimated to number several million birds, but... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix). 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).