The Chinese Bamboo Partridge
) is a small partridge
Partridges are birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. They are a non-migratory Old World group.These are medium-sized birds, intermediate between the larger pheasants and the smaller quails. Partridges are native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East...
native to eastern mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...
, and introduced successfully to Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...
. It is one of two species in the genus Bambusicola
, along with the Mountain Bamboo Partridge of the Himalayas
The Himalaya Range or Himalaya Mountains Sanskrit: Devanagari: हिमालय, literally "abode of snow"), usually called the Himalayas or Himalaya for short, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau...
The Chinese Bamboo Partridge is smaller than most partridges, reaching a size of cm, with males being larger than the females. The breast and back are mottled in black, chestnut, and cream colors, with black spots on the flanks and above. The partridge's face and throat are rufous, with a gray above the eye and down to the neck.
This species is found in warm forested areas and grasslands, but is not entirely dependent on bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....
, despite its name. Like other partridges, it prefers hiding to flight, but will readily flush if approached, startling pursuers with loud wingbeats. Its loud call, often rendered as ki-ko-kuai
(the latter rendition being adopted as its Japanese name) is repeated several times before slowing to a stop. This call is heard far more than the bird is actually seen, and though this species is common throughout its limited range, it is considered somewhat elusive and secretive.
Despite this, it has been kept in captivity in China for centuries, and has been intentionally introduced first to Japan in 1919 1
, then with varying success to Hawaii, where it is listed as an introduced bird not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act 2
. An introduced population also exists on remote Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima, officially , is an island of the Japanese Volcano Islands chain, which lie south of the Ogasawara Islands and together with them form the Ogasawara Archipelago. The island is located south of mainland Tokyo and administered as part of Ogasawara, one of eight villages of Tokyo...
. Despite its success elsewhere, Chinese Bamboo Partridge has been extirpated from Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...
, and a reintroduction program in 1961 failed to produce a viable breeding population 4
There are two subspecies, B. t. thoracicus
in mainland China and B. t. sonorivox
in Taiwan, the latter of which is sometimes treated as a separate species known as Taiwan Bamboo Partridge