The Chukar is a native of
the Middle East and southern Asia, but has been widely introduced throughout
much of the western United States. Multiple attempts to introduce the
Chukar to South Dakota were made, but were apparently unsuccessful, although
individuals (possibly escaped) are found from time to time. They have
benefited from the introduction of Eurasian plant species on which they feed in
their native lands.
Habitat: Seems to prefer sloped areas with
sufficient vegetative cover, such as brushy mountain slopes and canyon
sides. Also can be found in expansive cheatgrass areas with scattered
Diet: Will eat a variety of seeds,
leaves, grasses, berries, and insects. A large portion of the diet may be,
ironically, from introduced Eurasian species such as cheatgrass and its seeds.
Behavior: Primarily forages on the ground, but
will also move up into trees and shrubs in pursuit of berries and insects.
Breeding: Probable non-breeder in South Dakota.
Song: Series of whiny clucks ending in chuKAR chuKAR
Migration: Generally a permanent resident throughout its North American range.
Conservation Status: Has become well established
in parts of the west. Introductions in the state evidently have
failed. Individual birds seen in the state are likely escapees from
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Chukar"
Photo Information: October 7th, 2006 -
Minnehaha County - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Chukar photos.