Fun Black Partridge Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 29, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Black partridge facts are super fun to read!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

The black partridge (Melanoperdix niger), also known as the black wood partridge, belongs to the family of Phasianidae. The black partridge is a small bird endemic to or formerly found in South Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Borneo, but became extinct in Singapore a long time ago.  They inhabit forested regions.

Sexual dimorphism is found in this bird species. The male bird has an overall glossy black appearance with a short thick black bill whereas the females are chestnut brown colored with white underparts. The male and female can be distinguished by their size. Per clutch, they lay five to six white eggs and these chicks take around a month time to leave their nests. These species are vulnerable due to poaching and habitat loss so protection and different measures have been taken by the governments in order to protect them from getting extinct.

Keep on reading to know more fun facts about this bird and about the American bittern and palm warbler.

Black Partridge Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black partridge?

Black partridge is a type of bird from the genus Phasianida found in Indonesia and Malaysia.

What class of animal does a black partridge belong to?

The black partridge (Melanoperdix niger) is a type of bird belonging to the class of Aves. The population status of this bird from Southeast Asia is in a vulnerable state.

How many black partridges are there in the world?

The black partridge bird population is in decreasing trend and around 15,000-30,000 total individuals are left. The rapid deforestation is reckoned to have driven a swift population decline in this bird species, which is still continuing.

Where does a black partridge live?

The black partridge or black wood partridge is native to southeast Asia. These species are commonly found in Indonesia and Malaysia, mostly in forests. They are residents of Brunei Darussalam and they became extinct from Singapore due to extreme habitat loss.

What is a black partridge's habitat?

The species of black partridge prefer a forested habitat including lowland forests with many stemless spin-filled palms in the undergrowth, wetland forests, and tall heath-forests. In Peninsular Malaysia, it occurs in lowland rainforests which are evergreen, closed-canopy forests on alluvial soil. In Indonesia, this species thrive peat swamp forests and have been seen inhabiting brushwood and high bamboo-jungle.

Who do black partridges live with?

The black partridge is a solitary species, usually prefers staying alone. During the mating period, they are found in a pair.

How long does a black partridge live?

The lifespan of a black partridge (Melanoperdix niger) is unknown however we can take an assumption from their family i.e Phasianidae which contains bords that have a lifespan up to 25 years.

How do they reproduce?

The mating system of these birds is not yet known. With the little information that is available, it is known the breeding season sets in April and lasts till June. The female flies to the male bird during the mating season and later the female usually lays five to six eggs are laid per clutch in the nest. The incubation period continues till 18-19 days approximately and after the chicks hatch the mother partridge shifts them to a different place because there is a tendency for the male bird to kill the new hatchlings.

What is their conservation status?

Currently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN Red List has given the species black partridge (Melanoperdix niger) the status of Vulnerable. The black partridge is known to be a threatened species because of human interference, their native habitat loss, clear felling of timber, degradation of forest, and clearing of forest land due to agriculture. The different measures and protections are given by the Indonesian and Malaysian governments to conduct field surveys and clarify the current distribution and population of these species to keep a proper track.

Black Partridge Fun Facts

What do black partridges look like?

The black Patridge exhibits sexually dimorphic characteristics. The male has entirely glossy black plumage and a black distinctive, snout, and a small black bill while the female is generally a chestnut brown bird with a whitish throat and belly, blackish underparts, and a dark horn colored bill. Females are paler with blackish vermiculations spots all over the body and bold white spots on the best sides and flanks. Both males and females have gray legs and dark brown feet. The size of the female is smaller than the male bird. The hatchlings resemble the female species but the male hatchlings soon get their black plumage.

Black partridge are very loud chirping birds.

How cute are they?

The black wood partridge is pretty cute. They have dark bodies with thick small bills. Even though they can be intimidating when approached too close and can become quite defensive, they are very beautiful to look at. Males have a very beautiful black plumage and a not-so-long black bill that earned them their name.

How do they communicate?

Black partridges are known for high-pitched chipping sound. Although, they have two types of whistles to communicate: the first one being a double whistle of similar length and quality while the second whistle starts with a shorter note and ends with a rising note of trembling quality with a gap of 0.2 seconds. Series of whistles are given at 40-64 seconds intervals.

When these birds are released from captivity the male performs a typical cackling call and the female performs a chicken-like 'chor-ro-roh'  ringing call.

How big is a black partridge?

The black partridge is 10.63-14.18 in (27-36 cm) long and weighs around 16.23 oz (460 g), a little less in comparison with a duck which weighs around 19 oz (538.6 g).

How fast can a black partridge move?

The black partridge usually sits tightly in a particular position on the ground. They run on the ground in a disturbed manner when they notice an approaching threat in a few meters.

How much does a black partridge weigh?

The black wood partridge is a somewhat small bird and weighs around 16.23 oz (460 g). They are usually smaller than the general partridge that weighs 0.4-1.3 lb (181.4-589.6 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no distinctive term to differentiate between males and females of this species. They are generally referred to as male black partridge and female black partridge or cock and hen respectively.

What would you call a baby black partridge?

The baby of the black wood partridge does not have any specific name, they are termed hatchlings or chicks.

What do they eat?

Black partridge are omnivorous in nature and feeds on a wide variety of insects like mayfly, cranefly, and plants. Since these birds have strong bills it is suggested that they often feed on hard and thick seeds. They have also known to be a big fan of seven insect groups for eating.

Are they poisonous?

No, black partridges are harmless birds and not at all poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not at all recommended to tame or pet a black partridge. They are wild birds who are quite loud and tend to dirty the surroundings too. And most importantly, hunting or harming this species is an illegal activity as they are vulnerable according to the IUCN Red list. Also, as their natural habitat is a forested area keeping them as pets would mean taking their freedom away.

Did you know...

Black partridge are also known as game birds.

The natural food cycle of the black partridges is disrupted due to the immense usage of pesticides for agriculture which led to the extinction of many insects, putting the birds in a position to change their food habits.  

Are black partridge endangered?

Black partridges are endangered species; the main threat of these species are poaching, habitat loss, and removal of forest land. Reports collected from barrage areas show that either they have disappeared or are confronting survival war. Different measures such as preservation of their habitat and protection of hunting have been taken by the Indonesian and Malaysian governments in order to protect these birds.

What's unique about a black partridge?

The black partridge is the sole member of the monotypic genus Melanoperdix.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these greater sage grouse facts and leghorn chicken facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bird coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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