February 22nd   Leave a comment

Grey partridge

At this time of year the grey partridges stop flocking and form pairs ready for the breeding season: they switch from the covey period to the pair period. There have been a lot of coveys this winter with up to 12 birds in them. These usually reflect a pair’s success at breeding in the previous summer. We are lucky still to have good densities of grey partridges around Crail. Our densities are probably high enough that we now export grey partridges as the young from last year try to find their own space to breed. High densities of partridge are important both to dilute nest predation risk during the summer and also to allow large coveys in the winter so that there are always enough eyes in a flock to both keep a watch for predators while allowing time to feed. Once grey partridges start declining it is hard to get them back because it gets progressively tougher for the remaining birds.

Posted February 22, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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