Chukars On Antelope Island

One of the first birds I saw when I arrived at Antelope Island State Park in Utah was the Chukars. They seem to be everywhere and they were making lots of noise. These birds are about 13 or 14 inches long so you would think they would be easy to photograph but they hide well in the grass and rocks.

It has been introduced widely as a game bird, and feral populations have become established in the United States Rocky Mountains, Great Basin, high desert areas of California, Canada, New Zealand and Hawaii. Initial introductions into the US were from the nominate populations collected from Afghanistan and Nepal.

The call is loud and includes loud repeated “Chuck” notes and sometimes duetting “Chuker” notes. Several calls varying with context have been noted. The commonest call is a “rallying call” which when played back elicits a response from birds and has been used in surveys, although the method is not very reliable. When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly, but if necessary it flies a short distance often down a slope on rounded wings, calling immediately after alighting. (Wikipedia)

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6 Comments

  1. Mia McPherson May 3, 2013 at 4:55 am #

    I love hearing the Chukars calling and your images instantly brought that call to mind!

  2. Mello Mike May 3, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    Great shots, Steve. I love Utah and will be there at the end of the month.

  3. Cindy H May 3, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    Love their beak and eyes! Never heard of them before. How colourful they are, and what a great job capturing their colour contrast! I’ll have to look them up on my iBird app to hear their call! :) Thanks!

  4. Kathy Detweiler May 3, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    I’ve never seen one but they look really cool!

  5. Liz May 3, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    What a neat looking bird! Great shots, Steve!

  6. Julie G. May 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    I would love to see one of these cool looking birds. Terrific photographs, Steve!

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