Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chukar Partridge

The chukar partridge, or chukar, was introduced as a game bird to the western United States from Pakistan and is the national bird of Pakistan. It is considered one of the most challenging gamebirds to hunt because it is found in rugged, steep country and tends to run, rather than fly, when encountered by humans.

I have only seen a few chukars in my life. The first one was as a young boy in the upper City Creek Canyon area of Salt Lake. I found a chukar that had been killed and its beautiful feathers scattered around. I also recall hearing its sound on many occasions (see http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Chukar/sounds for the sound).

While driving up a steep, windy road, with the family to hike White Mountain, above the Owens Valley, we saw a covey of about 5 or 6 chukars cross the road.

But the best view I've had of a chukar came when I was with Sam jeeping in Canyonlands in his senior year of high school. While way in the backcountry, a chukar wandered uncharacteristically near us and I was able to get the photos that I have here.

When Judy, Andrew and I were in Spain, we had partridge, or perdiz, at a restaurant in Toledo. They had a stuffed perdiz in the restaurant and it looked like a chuckar, although it may have been a red-legged partridge which I believe is the European equivalent.

I am finding on the internet that they are being raised and are available as a gourmet food. I am going to have to find some and give it a try!

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