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Birding Málaga


Common name Red-legged partridge
Scientific name Alectoris rufa
Type Farmland birds
Status Resident

Medium sized bird (approx 30 cm or 12 in). Orange belly with barred flanks with grey, black and white stripes. Greyish brown back and head, white throat with black band. Breast mottled in black. Red bill and eye-ring. Red legs, naked and strong.



Where it lives

Open landscapes or with scattered trees. Grasslands, crops, scattered thickets, meadows and olive groves.

How it lives

Sedentary species and resident in Malaga all year round. The breeding starts in April. Normally a single annual laying of 10 to 16 eggs. Nest on the ground. It feeds on seeds, leaves, flowers and also insects in the breeding season. It is a very terrestrial species, which almost always moves on foot, although when it flies it does it fast and alternates strong flapping with soaring. Gregarious in winter and very territorial in spring.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Very widespread bird and easy to see in all the Great Path, especially in non-forest stages.

Curious facts

Contrary to what is believed, the Red-Legged Partridge displays a great variety of reproductive behaviours. There are partridges that nest in trees, polygamous males, couples that make two layings (one incubated by the male and another by the female) and birds that remain single and do not breed for a few years. Everything depends on the state of the habitat.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration