by Dr Francis Buner, Senior Conservation Scientist, GWCT
This morning – while sipping on my Italian cappuccino - I was greeted by ‘my’ grey partridge pair just outside my kitchen window.
As you can see, they are ringed like all the partridges around my house. They are part of our grey partridge re-introduction project and the rings of this pair tell me that the male is a parent-reared cock (hatched and reared by a captive-bred grey partridge) and released with his siblings and genetic parents as an autumn-covey in October 2013.
The female is parent-reared as well but was released this January together with another nine hens to make up for the male bias that we had in our still fragile founder population.
All in all, we counted seven pairs around my house and 29 pairs across the whole estate. The one visiting our garden is currently breeding somewhere across the drive as it is normally only the cock that makes use of the free and easy food provided for our chickens.
This morning he was cavalier enough to take his partner for a well-deserved breakfast. Partridges are very faithful birds as they mate for life and we have good reason to believe that they are much more faithful than many of us humans.