946. Greek Partridge.
Caccabis saxatilis (Wolf and Meyer), Naturg. Vog. Deutschl, p. 87, pl. 48 (1805) ; (Naum.), Vi. p. 540, Taf. 164 ; (Gould), B. of E. iv. pl. 261, fig. 2, ; Dresser, vii. p. 93, pl. 470, fig. 1 ; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxii. p. 111 ; C. groeca (Steph.), in Shaw’s Gen. Zool. xi. p. 346 (1819).
Bartavelle, French ; Cortornice, Ital. ; Steinhuhn, German.
Male ad. (Switzerland). Forehead, feathers round the base of the bill, lores, and a stripe passing through the eye down the sides of the neck, where it broadens and joins in front, black ; crown and upper parts including the scapulars and inner secondaries dove-blue, the nape tinged with vinous buff, the back washed with warm vinous, and the scapulars and inner secondaries with buffy brown ; quills dark brown, externally ochreous ; middle tail-feathers dove-blue, the rest dove-blue at the base, otherwise fox-red ; chin und throat white ; breast-feathers dove-blue edged with pule buff ; abdomen and under tail-coverts warm ochreous ; flank-feathers dove-blue crossed by a black, then a white, and then a black, band, and slightly tipped with chestnut-red ; bill, legs, and edge of eyelid coral-red ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.85, wing 6.4, tail 3.9, tarsus 1.7 inch. Sexes alike.
Hab. The mountains of Southern Europe, the Eastern Pyrenees, the Alps, Apennines, Carpathians, and Balkans ; Sicily.
Inhabits stony, mountainous regions, only descending when driven down by stress of weather. As a rule it is tame and unsuspicious, but very quarrelsome during the breeding season. Its note resembles the syllables kakabi, kakabet uttered several times in succession, and also cok, cok, cokroo also several times uttered. It feeds on grain., seeds, tender shoots, and insects. It nests on the ground amongst the rocks, the nest, being merely a depression lined with a few leaves and grass-bents. The eggs, which are deposited late in May or in June, vary in number from 8 to 18 or even sometimes more, and are very finely marked with reddish yellow on a pale yellowish ground ; in size they measure about 1.59 by 1.19.