Chukar

Chukar are a light brown bird with vertical black stripes at their sides. They also sport a dark band of feathers that wraps around the eyes and goes down to their throat. This band is highlighted by their white cheek and throats. They also sport a bright red beak and dusty red legs and feet. They have plump bodies which highlight their small rounded heads.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Alectoris chukar
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
3-5 Years
SIZE
13.4-15 ” | 1.2-1.7 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Upland Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Chukar can be found in dry shrublands often at elevations between 4,000-13,000 feet. They are found among rocky hillsides that have a mixture of plant life including brush and grasses. Chukar are often found close to a water source, especially during the summer.

  • Cliffs and Canyons
  • Cold desert shrubland and sagebrush
  • Grasslands

Threats

  • Habitat Loss

Natural History

Chukar are a non-native species that was introduced from Eurasia to the United States in 1893. They primarily eat seeds in their adult life, they also will eat the leaves of both annual and perennial grasses like cheatgrass (an invasive species in Nevada). As young chicks their diet is made up of insects. Chukar can be found nesting on the ground and will hide their nests near rocks or bushes for protection. They have large clutches which will have ten to 21 eggs.

Fun Facts

Instead of bathing in water, Chukars will take dust baths to clean off their plumage.