The Stone Partridge, Ptilopachus petrosus, is a bird of the pheasant family commonly found in Central Africa from the west coast to Kenya. It is the only member of the genus Ptilopachus.
Since 2000, the Stone Partridge has been imported into the United States and Europe, where it is hoped that it will become established in zoos and bird collections.
There is some confusion because the name of this bird in some languages appears to mean "rock partridge" "? but the bird called Rock Partridge in English is actually a species of Alectoris (A. graeca). The two species are very different in size and habits, Ptilopachus being only 20"?25 cm long. Further complication arises as, particularly within the USA, the name "rock partridge" has been used for a variety of Alectoris species and hybrids.
The species is exceptional amongst gamebirds in that the female, to human eyes, is showier than the male. Both sexes are predominantly earthy chocolate brown above, with sparse pale cream-grey spotting. The head, neck and chest are paler brown and have broad cream edging to the feathers that gives the bird a scaled appearance. In males the lower chest and belly are orange-cream; in females, very pale cream. Both sexes raise their crown feathers to form a rudimentary crest but the feathers of females are somewhat longer and hence more obvious when raised.
Eggs are pale pink, fading to cream, juveniles are dark chocolate-brown throughout, moulting into adult plumage at several weeks old. In captivity at least, the male plays a major role in both incubation and rearing of the young, offering young small items of food by picking them up, dropping them and calling to the chicks.
Widespread and common throughout its large range, the Stone Partridge is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- The Stone Partridge is featured on a 5F stamp of Ivory Coast.