A species in great decline across Europe the Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix). It is estimated that in the UK the population has fallen by 80% in the last fifty years and now sightings of coveys are quite rare.
The reasons for this loss are many. Firstly from the 1950’s there was massive increase in the use of insecticides and herbicides on farmland. This effectively killed off the insect food for chicks and weed seeds for adults. Habitat was destroyed by the removing of hedgerows and ploughing fields right to their edges, the Partridge had nowhere to nest or hide.
Although some farming practices have improved numbers keep falling. There are more predators like corvids and foxes, also the introduction of huge numbers of non-native Pheasants and Red-legged Partridges for game shooting has impacted the population by introducing disease. The future of this delightful and shy bird is not great.