According to Oliver, two forms were introduced into New Zealand in the 1920s and 30s, chukar of India and koroviakovi whose range includes Iran, Turkey and the Mediterranean Islands. They are found mostly in the South Island in New Zealand, the North Island liberations being largely unsuccessful.

The first of the ancient Greek lyric poets, Alcman claims he learned his skills, to sing as a poet, from the "strident partridges" (caccabides), the particular bird being the chukar partridge which calls kakkabi and is still found in the Greek islands.

According to Fish and Game New Zealand, “as recently as 1987 chukor have been released in the Hawkes Bay region where they are still completely protected.

“Primarily a South Island species, the chukor is at home on high, semi arid shale and rocky slopes, interspersed with areas of low tussock and scattered sub alpine vegetation. Found at altitudes of up to 2,000 metres on slopes east of the main divide, chukor populations extend from Marlborough to Otago.

“Chukor pair up and begin nesting in September. Clutches are usually large with 10 to 18 eggs produced but despite this the chukor population is in decline. In those districts where they may still be hunted the season begins in May and continues until the end of August.”

—  Greytown, Wairarapa, 2006

Sub Species:

Other common names:  — 

chukar, Perdix chukar, Alectoris graeca chukar

Description:  — 

Introduced bird

31 cm; male, 600g, female 500g; upper surface ashy, tinged on the crown and shoulders with red; a black band across the forehead extends through each eye and down the side of the neck to join above the breast; the area enclosed by the band is buffy white; sides barred with chestnut and black.

Where to find:  — 

East of the Southern Alps from Marlborough to Central Otago. In the North Island a few near Tauranga and Hawkes Bay.

Credit for the photograph: — 

Illustration description: — 


Gould, John, A Century of Birds from the Himalaya Moutains, 1830–32.

Reference(s): — 


Oliver, W.R.B. New Zealand Birds, 1955.

Heather, B., & Robertson, H., Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand, 2000.

Page date & version: — 


Saturday, 17 May, 2014; ver2009v1


©  2005    Narena Olliver,    new zealand birds limited,     Greytown, New Zealand.