colhig17's picture

Roadside casualty

Observed: 21st February 2012 By: colhig17colhig17 is knowledgeable about Birdscolhig17’s earned reputation in Birdscolhig17’s earned reputation in Birds
mystery bird

This bird was found dead at the roadside in town. The angle of the photo doesn't give the clearest view.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Syrphus's picture

This is a Partridge, not an

This is a Partridge, not an owl. The feet clearly show a lack of talons and a very short hind toe, whereas any owl has four +- equal toes, one of which may be moved forward to give 3+1 or back to give 2+2. See



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pirayaguara's picture

I agree it is a game bird

I agree it is a game bird rather than owl but I'm not entirely convinced it is a grey partridge - could it be a young pheasant?

nightfly's picture

Hi pirayaguara,It is

Hi pirayaguara,

It is definitely a grey partridge, the feathers are quite uniquely marked. The pale stripes up the centre of the plumage on its back are the first and clearest indication that its a grey partridge. I think its a female going by its drab brown overall colour but it could possibly be a juvenile male bird?

EDIT- Being observed freshly killed in February its highly unlikely to be a juvenile male, a juvenile of either sex as mature as this (fully grown) would probably only be possible in summer months. Probably an adult female here.


ophrys's picture


I don't think you can tell either from the picture, really. Juveniles apparently moult all feathers in their first autumn, apart from two outer primaries. Strictly, if it retained those two old outer primaries, it could still be told as a young bird, but you can't tell from the photo. Equally, the sex cannot be told from the angle of the photo. The link to an article on the age/sex of these might be interesting...


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