Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"On he shuffles, quietly mumbling
Figures, facts and formulae -
Bats are busy in the belfry
In the bonnet hums a bee,

At the Reading Room he settles
Pince-nez on his bottle nose,
Reads and scribbles. reads and scribbles,
Till the day draws to a close,"

from A Ticket for the Reading Room
by William Plomer

Yesterday I took the dogs for a walk and ran into this flock of Grey or Hungarian Partridges on a neighbour's lawn. We used to see them in this area all the time but I have rarely seen them in the past few years so it was great to encounter these.

"The Calgary Fish and Game Association introduced gray partridges to Alberta around 1908, says Alberta Fish and Wildlife biologist Gordon Court. The first 15 pairs were from Hungary, which is why locals often call these birds “huns.”

"We are always getting ready to live, but never living."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Kathie Brown said...

Wow! I have never seen this bird, and I had no idea you had them in Alberta! what beauties they are!

Guy said...

Hi Kathie

I am not sure of their true range. We have them as introduced game birds in Saskatchewan and Alberta. They are very pretty little birds.

All the best

Roy Norris said...

Hi Guy,
Its good to see the images of the Grey Partridge. They are becoming a rarity in England.
We have plenty of Red-legged type, but if you can find a Grey its quite a find.

WildBill said...

I've never seen one of these partridges! They are really unique and absolutely beautiful Do they compete with native birds like spruce grouse?

Guy said...

Hi Roy

They seem to have declined here locally, but the city is growing and the green space shrinking so that may be part of it.

Thanks for visiting.

Guy said...

Hi Bill

Yesterday a friend, who is a biologist, who has worked extensively in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan was by and I asked him if he was aware of any consequences for other wildlife from the release of partridges. He thought about it long and hard but said he had never heard of any. I have looked around and not really found anything. One native species that occupies the same area is the Sharp Tailed Grouse which has declined, but habitant destruction is considered to be the main culprit. Introduced species ( game birds for hunting ) here like pheasants, turkeys and partridges never seem to be all that successful because of the harsh winters. So the populations fluctuate and remain low. With climate change what the future holds who know?

All the best