are medium sized non-migratory gamebirds, with a wide native
distribution throughout the Old World, including Europe, Asia, and parts
of Africa. They are sometimes grouped in the Perdicinae subfamily of the
Phasianidae (pheasants, quail, etc.). However, molecular research
suggests that partridges are not a distinct taxon within the family
Phasianidae, but that some species are closer to the pheasants, while
others are closer to the junglefowls.
These are medium-sized birds, intermediate between the larger pheasants
and the smaller quails. Partridges are native to the grassy steppes of
Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Nowadays they are often found
nesting on agricultural land. They nest on the ground and have a diet
consisting of seeds and insects. Species such as the grey partridge and
the red-legged partridge are popular as game birds, and are often reared
in captivity and released for the purpose of hunting. For the same
reason, they have been introduced into large areas of North America.