A resident bird of Cyprus and the Akamas peninsula. It occurs from the sea level up to the semi-mountainous zone. It prefers agricultural areas and natural areas with enough vegetation for cover (e.g. along streams, around wetlands etc.).
It’s a ground dweller, shy and elusive. It mostly remains well hidden in tall grass or in bushes. It can be seen only when crossing a road or open space, when feeding in an open area, or when it’s calling from a higher obvious post. It’s usually solitary outside breeding season, in pairs during the breeding period and in family groups when the chicks have grown-up.
It has the size of the Chukar, usually with a more upright posture. The male has a black head with a white patch on the cheek, black breast and belly, reddish-brown ring on the neck and gold-brown back.
The female has more ground colors overall, with a faint reddish-brown marking on the neck. The male’s call is a very characteristic and unique, seven-syllable, with specific rhythm, “broken” mechanical voice ‘kiok, kiiik ki-kii ki ki-kiii’, that can be heard at a great distance, usually early in the morning and late afternoon to dusk.