partridge, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Transferred use of general English partridge a name for various species of game bird, especially birds of the genus Perdix.
a. Any of several species of game bird of the genus Francolinus of the Phasianidae.
Note:
See note at pheasant.
1785, 1790 [see pheasant sense a].
1835 T.H. Bowker Journal. 13 Feb.Miles shoots two hares two partridges and a monkey on Cattl[e] guard.
1899 R.B. & J.D.S. Woodward Natal Birds 161 (Pettman)Perhaps the commonest of our partridges is the well-known Redwing.
1908 Haagner & Ivy Sketches of S. Afr. Bird-Life 124The Francolins..are locally known as Pheasants and Partridges...There are two genera of Francolins...Francolinus..[and]..Pternistes. To the former belong the ‘Partridges’ and to the latter the ‘Pheasants’.
1943 D. Reitz No Outspan 151I shot birds, for partridge, pheasant and guinea fowl are plentiful.
1970 G.J. Broekhuysen in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. II. 345Most of the birds on the open veld are well camouflaged, for example the pheasants, partridges and quails.
1994 M. Roberts tr. of J.A. Wahlberg’s Trav. Jrnls 1838–56 22Shot various small birds and one partridge.
b. With distinguishing epithet:
bush-partridge, (a) the swempi, Francolinus coqui; (b) the Natal francolin (see Natal sense c), F. natalensis;
Cape partridge, the greywing francolin Francolinus africanus;
coast partridge, the Natal francolin (see Natal sense c), F. natalensis;
grey partridge, grey-wing partridge (occasionally simply grey-wing), Cape partridge (see above);
red-necked partridge, the Cape pheasant (see pheasant sense b), F. afer;
redwing partridge, the redwing francolin F. levaillantii.
1899 R.B. & J.D.S. Woodward Natal Birds 162 (Pettman)The bush partridge measures 13 inches in length.
1937 H. Sauer Ex Afr. 55Three kinds of partridges were fairly frequently encountered: the redwing,..the greywing, and..the schwempe or bush-partridge, a smaller bird always found in thin forest country.
1908 Haagner & Ivy Sketches of S. Afr. Bird-Life 125In the Cape Colony the two best known species are the Cape Redwing (Francolinus levaillantii) and the Greywing or Cape Partridge (F. africanus).
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 113Cape partridge, Francolinus Africanus..South Africa possesses neither a true partridge nor a true pheasant among its birds.
1931 Guide to Vertebrate Fauna of E. Cape Prov. (Albany Museum) I. 187Francolinus africanus,..Grey-wing Francolin, Cape Partridge.
1911 J.D.F. Gilchrist S. Afr. Zoology 255 (Pettman)Francolinus natalensis is the Coast partridge of Natal or ‘Namaqua pheasant’ of the Transvaal.
1878 T.J. Lucas Camp Life & Sport 85We had a sprinkling of red wing, but the game grey partridge was more predominant.
1904 Argus Christmas Annual 13He crawled about searching for ‘fritongs,’ or small roots dear to the ‘grey wing’ and the red.
1918 S.H. Skaife Animal Life in S. Afr. 230There are several species of the large, stoutly-built birds known as francolins...Among these must be included the greywing or Cape partridge.
1991 Best of S. Afr. Short Stories (Reader’s Digest Assoc.) 260More than one South African game bird goes by the popular name of ‘partridge’, but the one referred to here is most likely the grey-wing partridge (Francolinus africanus)...Grey-wing partridges are often seen in coveys of up to 18 birds, which rise with a loud, squealing cry when flushed.
1899 R.B. & J.D.S. Woodward Natal Birds 163 (Pettman)Red-necked partridge..in the up-country districts this large francolin..alights in the trees, and is called a pheasant.
1958 L.G. Green S. Afr. Beachcomber 23Such expert shots did they become that they picked off redwing partridges on the wing with their rifles.
Any of several species of game bird of the genus Francolinus of the Phasianidae.

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