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ID Info
Silhouette Game BirdsGame Birds
ChukarAlectoris chukar
  • ORDER: Galliformes
  • FAMILY: Phasianidae

Basic Description

Introduced from Eurasia, the sandy-brown Chukar is a game bird that lives in high desert plains of western North America, as well as in Hawaii and New Zealand. Its namesake call echoes across dry rocky slopes. It runs and scampers up steep terrain with the agility and speed of a mountain goat, prompting hunters to nickname it the "devil bird" for the brutal chase it gives. Dark bars on the sides and a band across the head and neck adorn this red-billed game bird.

More ID Info
image of range map for Chukar
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Despite their bold markings Chukars tend to blend in with their rocky surroundings. They are particularly wary, so it can take a bit to get a look at one before they run up the rocky hillside. Late March to May is a good time to go looking for them because males are more likely to call from prominent rocks, increasing the likelihood of getting a look at one. In the heat of late summer, look for groups, called coveys, around water sources such as ponds, small pools, or streams.

Other Names

  • Perdiz Chucar (Spanish)
  • Perdrix choukar (French)
  • Cool Facts