Hunting Shelley's Partridge


SHELLEY’S PARTRIDGE (Scleroptila shelleyi)

Key Characteristics

The bold black-and-white-barred belly with a white throat bordered by a narrow black collar (<15mm) are characteristics.  The breast and flanks are chestnut and the wings appear rufous (reddish-brown) in flight, with rounded tips.  The relatively large (± 45 x 50 mm) black-and-white belly feathers are diagnostic Shelley’s Partridge are mainly restricted to the northern regions of South Africa in open savanna  habitat.


Shelley’s Partridge are predominately an open savanna species occurring mostly in those areas associated with rocky ridges, stony slopes and scattered trees.  Traditionally associated with open, Acacia thornveld, they may, in addition, be found on montane grassland, especially where it borders areas with scattered trees such as dry river courses and valleys.  They may also be found on the edge of fallow lands adjacent to the above-mentioned areas. Although more tolerant of open grass cover than other grassland Partridge species, they avoid heavily overgrazed areas.

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