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Chukar        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Chukars (often called chukar partridges) are attractive medium-sized galliforms that are native to Eurasia.   They've been introduced into North America for sport hunting, and have successfully colonized many arid regions in the West (they also occur up to quite high altitudes:   I've seen them above 3,500 meters in the White Mountains in eastern California).   Despite their striking markings, chukars are remarkably hard to see against brown dirt and rocks, especially if they keep their backs toward you.  Chukars usually travel around in small flocks; this (apparently) solitary bird was photographed near Riverside, California as it rested in the shade on a warm spring day.

  • digital capture, Canon 10D, 500 mm IS lens and 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2004)