One of the most interesting aspects of knowing one’s avifauna is being able to recognize birds that don’t belong. Case in point, I received an e-mail the other day from Levittown, NY of all places with the following photo and a couple more like it:
Photo by Joe Weinman
Joe, the photographer, and his daughter encountered this handsome fowl in his yard. He snapped one photo as it flew from his roof to his neighbor’s roof. Then, he followed the bird to a grassy area across the street for a few more shots. Understandably, he was curious about what kind of bird this was.
The bird in question is a Chukar (Alectoris chukar), a Eurasian species of partridge. The Chukar is quite an unexpected sighting on Long Island, since this upland gamebird, the National Bird of Pakistan, is not even remotely native to North America. Instead, this bird is almost certainly an escapee from a game farm or zoo. It is a beauty though! Levittown, by the way, was the first truly mass-produced suburb and is widely regarded as the archetype for postwar suburbs throughout the country.
Chukar on a rampage, Photo by Joe Weinman
It’s probably looking for a pear tree.
I saw one today(13 April 2010) on my fron porch in Kensington, MD. I’ll send some photos if you like.
This bird was in our backyard in Glen Head NY about 7 miles north of Levittown.
i saw one of these in perkasie, bucks county, pa, today (june 30, 2010), on second street. it allowed me to approach within 2~3 meters, and made a quite little kuk-kuk-kuk like a chicken, but when i tried to get closer than that it started moving away (it walked around some guy’s truck, then just stood there). it walked a little like a chicken, too, but stretched taller. it had a damaged wing, but was capable of short flight when fleeing the stupid man that practically stepped on it returning to his truck. when questioned if he saw it and knew what it was, he said it looked like a pigeon to him.
it was obviously not a pigeon. it looked exactly like the one in your photo, but with a little droop to one wing.
Amazing – a pair of these in my yard today, Sept.5, 2010. Nestled down in the soil under an American Cranberry bush. Have photos….
Sited in Lititz, PA Sept 5, 2010
I saw one yesterday on my friend’s back porch in Frederick, MD. Had to do a bit of research to figure out what it was but I have no doubt now that it’s a chukar. I have a great close-up photo. Would you like me to send it?
had one in our yard in waterloo (southern ontario) today, it was having some fun mocking my son as he tried to mow the lawn. the Chukar actually climbed on the mower and played there. Took lots of photos.
We’ve had a chukar hanging around our yard & bird feeder for about
a week. Have taken quite a few pics. We live in Galllitzin, PA & have
have never seen one of these birds. Hope it stays.
Just seen one in Brooklyn last night they are said to stare at the moon ,I think it found a nice spot on my porch. Then it flew away.
we have 5 in Peconic, NY,
I guess they tolerate the cold.
Its the raccoons and foxes and red-tailed hawks that concern me.
any advice on how to protect them? or do the not need protection?
We just had one on our roof today in southern Ontario, Canada. About 65k north of Toronto!
We have never seen one of these and have no idea where it came from.