This partridge breeds on farmland across most of Europe into western Asia, laying up to 20 eggs in a ground nest. It is a non-migratory terrestrial species, which forms flocks outside the breeding season. It is declining greatly in numbers in areas of intensive cultivation such as Great Britain, due to loss of breeding habitat and food supplies.
It is a rotund bird, brown-backed, with grey underparts, an orange face and a chestnut belly patch. there is little difference between the sexes. When disturbed, like most of the gamebirds, it flies a short distance on rounded wings.
This is a seed-eating species, but the young in particular take insects as an essential protein supply.