Winter Birds

I wanted to find out about Partridge and Grouse for our Winter Birds topic. I set myself some questions.

What do these birds look like?

This is a grouse.

Below is a Grey Partridge, also knows as an English Partridge.

Where do they live?

We all know that partridges live here:

Actually, Partridges are ground birds and so couldn’t reach a pear tree.

Grey partridges are traditionally found in lowland arable areas of Great Britain from the chalk areas in the south, into East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, reaching into the north of England and the East of Scotland as far as Aberdeenshire.  Read more at the RSPB website

The Red Grouse in the UK lives mainly in the North and West uplands. Their numbers are reducing because their habitat is being lost. They live only on heather moorlands and don’t move far from home in their lives. They eat heather, seeds, berries and insects. The RSPB website says:

The best place to see red grouse is on upland heather moors, where they suddenly rocket up from the heather when disturbed to fly off with fast-whirring wingbeats.

What group or family do they belong to?

Partridges and Grouse are both ‘game birds’. This means they are hunted for sport or food. This group also includes birds such as pheasants and ptarmigan.

They belong to the order of galliformes. These are heavy bodied, ground feeding birds and the name is comes from ‘gallus’ the Latin for cock or rooster.

From the garden….

We saw a Jay earlier today. It’s rare to see a Jay as they like to stay in the cover of the trees. After hopping about and looking for insects on some open soil, it flew away, showing off the beautiful blue of it’s wings. The bright blue colour helps them to attract a mate.

We’ve been out topping up the bird-feeders and fat balls today. The birds need a lot of food in the winter as berries and insects are scarce.

Do you know anything about these birds? Please post in the comments below. I’d love to see your photos if you have any.

By Eldest.


  1. Hello. My name is Kit and I think your blog about winter birds is excellent! I love birds too and I love to visit the WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire which is a bird sanctuary and you can see birds from all over the world as they migrate south for the winter. I’ve seen Lapland Buntings and Little Stints which are both rare. Jays bury their nuts for the winter so they can dig them up again to eat when food is scarce. Have you heard their call? They sound a bit like squirrels! You can only see Ptarmigan in Scotland so I’ve never seen one but I’ve heard a Red Grouse when I was in Wales in the summer. In my garden in Cornwall, we have loads of sparrows, blue tits, the occasional wren, greenfinch and chaffinch. The most unusual visitor I guess is the Bullfinch. Keep up the spotting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kit, thanks for telling me about the bird sanctuary at Slimbridge, I’d love to visit it one day. I didn’t know Jays bury their nuts, it’s funny that they sound like squirrels because squirrels also bury their nuts. We have squirrels in the garden too, I wonder if they will end up digging up each other’s nuts! We also see blue tits, chaffinches, goldfinches, a song thrush, and sometimes black caps. We have a regular robin, and lots of crows, blackbirds and magpies. I think I once saw a greenfinch.


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