Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Tonkin Partridge (Arborophila tonkinensis)


French: Torquéole du Tonkin German: Tonkinbuschwachtel Spanish: Arborófila de Tonkín

Tropicoperdix charltoni [sic] tonkinensis


, 1927,

Bac Kan, north-eastern Tonkin


Sometimes placed in genus Tropicoperdix. Formerly treated as a subspecies of A. chloropus, but differs from all taxa grouped under that species in its lack of tawny-buff band around lower throat/upper breast (3); upper breast mid-chestnut vs more extensive breast to neck-sides mid-brown (3); more extensive large spotting than on any other taxa (none in chloropus and olivacea, hence score 3; sometimes significant but never so large in merlini and vivida, hence score 1) (1). It shares with forms charltonii, atjenensis and graydoni a white lower throat (with black spots) and plain chestnut upper breast, but differs from the first two in having ear-coverts tawny-stained white with black spots vs plain tawny (plain dirty white on graydoni) (2); no black upper necklace from lower throat around below ear-coverts (3); distribution of large blackish spots on lower breast, mid-belly and flanks (2); smaller chestnut upper breast patch, not extending onto neck-sides (ns[1]); and less distinctly barred lower breast (ns[1]). It differs from A. graydoni in its black-spotted tawny-stained white vs plain dirty white ear-coverts (2); greyish-brown lower breast feathers more narrowly, evenly and distinctly barred with buff vs much darker, richer chestnut on upper breast with black bars (3); buffy-tan belly with large dark spotting vs plain belly with dark rufous and rufous-chestnut coloration (2). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

N Vietnam.

Descriptive notes

c. 28 cm. Dark-speckled whitish forehead and supercilium, dark-spotted brown crown to nape, tawny-stained white ear-coverts with black spots; olive-brownish upperparts thinly... read more


Territorial call a series of evenly pitched clear whistles, usually in groups of two or three;... read more


Dense evergreen forest; probably present also in secondary forest and logged forest. To c. 500 m.

Food and feeding

Few data. Diet includes berries and seeds, also termites (Isoptera). Observed in small coveys.


No information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally fairly common to common. Appears able to survive in disturbed and altered habitats, and to tolerate a certain amount of... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Tonkin Partridge (Arborophila tonkinensis). 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 20 February 2020).