Wildlife of Wolong: The partridge that loves rhododendron forests

Chestnut-throated partridges, also known as Verreaux's monal-partridges, love to forage in the coniferous and rhododendron forests in Wolong National Nature Reserve, southwest China's Sichuan Province. Local people often call rhododendron tree "ram's horn tree" or "yangjiaoshu(羊角树)" in Chinese, thus chestnut-throated partridges get the nickname of "yangjiaoji (羊角鸡)." When the weather goes through a sudden change from sunny to rainy, these patridges will make a loud and sharp noise. A local saying goes, the weather will be cloudy or rainy if chestnut-throated partridges crow.

Interestingly, chestnut-throated partridges are used to build nests both on the ground and the tree. In the daytime, they like to rest in nests on the ground. When night falls, they sleep in nests on the tree. This is a unique feature for the ground-feeding bird. It might be a way they develop to protect themselves from predators.

As a species native to China, chestnut-throated partridges live in Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu provinces. They are now under first-class state protection.

(All photos taken by He Xiao'an, head of the Publicity Department of Wolong National Nature Reserve Administration in Sichuan Province)