Kekliki, or stone partridges, or mountain hens (lat. Alectoris) is a genus of birds of the subfamily of the partridge (Perdicinae) of the pheasant family. They are distinguished by a compact constitution, a short neck, a large head with a short curved beak, paws of medium height with a blunt spur, as well as wings of medium length and a very long tail. They are the closest relatives of desert partridges (Ammoperdix). Reach a length of 35 cm, weight 370-770 grams.
The most common type of partridge is the Asian parthorn (Alectoris chukar), which for a long time was considered the same species with the European chukar (Alectoris graeca). Due to the rather different vocal repertoire, scientists have recently begun to distinguish between the two.
Distributed from the Balkan Peninsula to China, in the Caucasus, in Central Asia, southern Kazakhstan, southern Altai, Tuva and in the mountains of Eurasia (Dzhungarskiy Alatau, northern Tien Shan, Ili and northern Alatau, Karatau, Sauyr, etc.). It settles on the rocky slopes of the mountains, overgrown with rare bushes. In winter it migrates to the foothills. It is an object of hunting.
Arabian Chuck / Alectoris philbyi
The most common type of chukar is the Asian chukar (Alectoris chukar). Slightly larger than a jackdaw. Body length is 35 cm, weight is from 350 to 800 g, wingspan is 47-52 cm. The plumage is gray. A black stripe runs from the forehead through the eyes and around the front of the neck. The beak, ocular ring and legs are bright red. The female differs from the male in the absence of spurs and in smaller size.
The bird is highly fertile. A female Asian chukarot can lay 7 to 22 eggs. Incubation lasts 24 days. The bird begins to reproduce in the first year of life.
Often kept in captivity, it is especially popular with bird-lovers. Bondage bears easily. Asian chukots live at home with good care for up to 20 years.
European chukar (Alectoris graeca) up to 35 cm long, 50 to 55 cm wide. The upper body and chest are bluish-gray, the throat is white with a black stripe. On the sides of the body there are transverse stripes of gray, black, beige, black and red-brown color. The eyes are red-brown, the beak is red, the legs are reddish.
Red partridge (Alectoris rufa) is very similar to the European chukar. Only the top of the head and back are brown, not gray. The white spot on the throat is smaller. The stripe on the chest, which borders the patch on the throat, is not as distinct as in the European Chucklik. It turns into black streaks. In addition, flying red partridges show bright fiery red tail feathers.
Arabian chukar (Alectoris philbyi) looks like an Asiatic chuckleaf, only the chin, throat and cheeks are black. Body length ranges from 33 to 36 cm, weight - about 450 g. Sexual dimorphism is not pronounced. Females are slightly smaller than males. It lives in the south-west of Saudi Arabia and in the north of Yemen on dry slopes of mountains and gorges.