Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Near Threatened

Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca)


French: Perdrix bartavelle German: Steinhuhn Spanish: Perdiz griega

Perdix graeca


, 1804,



Closely related to A. chukar, A. magna and A. philbyi#R, and has been considered to include all three. Possibly hybridizes with A. chukar in some areas; hybridizes with A. rufa in S French Alps. Race whitakeri seems to have diverged somewhat from other forms (genetic distance of 3.5%)#R, and this race also reasonably distinctive in plumage#R. Race orlandoi often subsumed within saxatilis, but appears to be worthy of recognition#R#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. g. saxatilis (Bechstein, 1805) – Alps from France to Austria E to W Bulgaria.
  • A. g. orlandoi Priolo, 1984 – Apennine Mts (Italy).
  • A. g. graeca (Meisner, 1804) – European Rock Partridge – Ionian Is, Greece and S Bulgaria; perhaps this race in Albania#R.
  • A. g. whitakeri Schiebel, 1934 – Sicilian Rock Partridge – Sicily.
  • Indeterminate mixed populations of present species and A. chukar introduced into UK, Russia, USA, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand; Hawaiian birds known to derive from A. chukar.

    Descriptive notes

    32–37 cm; male 550–850 g, female 410–720 g; wingspan 46–53 cm. Difficult to separate in field from A. chukar; slight differences in extent of... read more


    Most vocal during early morning, especially at dawn. Main calls considered to more clipped and less... read more


    Rocky hills and mountain slopes with calcareous rock, short grass, sparse shrub cover and some tree... read more

    Food and feeding

    Predominantly vegetarian, eating seeds, fruits and green material, but also some terrestrial invertebrates. Chicks, and females in spring,... read more


    Lays from mid May to June in Alps, late Apr to Jun in Greece (earlier in S than N); break-up of winter flocks from Feb, with territories... read more


    Altitudinal movements reported in mountain breeding areas, initially moving higher immediately post... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Declining in most parts of its range; populations of c. 25% of localities in Italy lost since 1960s, with... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca). 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 16 December 2019).