Partridge, or Tetrao Percix L. a well-known bird to the sportsmen of Britain. In shape, it resembles a quar, but is of more than double the size; its whole plumage is beautifully variegated, and it has a reddish spot on the breast.
Partridges chiefly inhabit cultivated fields, while the corn is, growing; as it affords them a shelter, beneath which they breed. After the harvest, they resort to. the upland meadows, where they lay from 10 to 20 eggs; and conceal themselves, together with their. coveys, among the dead grass, in the hedges, amongst mole-hills, or beneath the roots of trees.
These birds are taken in various ways but the most common is, by means of a setting-dog, and the gun. For this purpose, the sportsman should place himself at daybreak with his dog, behind a bush, or at the foot of a tree, when the cock-partridge calls the hen; and, after flying to a small distance, repeats peals the call; then perhaps flying a second time. As soon as the sun rises, and the sportsman is able to take aim, he may cast off his dog, and pursue the object in view.;-They are likewise taken with a net, and. reared in places appropriated for their reception ; but they cannot be tamed like the domestic poultry. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Scio, an island in the Archipelago, rear large flocks of partridges, by treating them like geese and ducks, that visit the fields during the day, and return home in the evening: when the lime of brooding approaches, the partridges abscond, but after hatching their coveys, the whole family returns to the farm-yard. Thus, we believe, this delicate fowl might likewise be propagated in the South of England; where the autumn is generally accompanied with mild weather.
Partridges are highly esteemed at the table, on account of their wholesome and tender flesh, which has an exquisite flavour.