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Roul roul partridge

Scientific nameRollulus rouloul

Country: Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei

Continent: Asia

Diet: Seeds - granivore, fruits - frugivore, insects - insectivore, molluscs - molluscivore

Food & feeding: Omnivore

Habitats: Tropical rainforest

Conservation status: Near threatened

Description: The roul roul partridge is approximately 26 cm in length, weighing 200 grams (female) to 230 grams (male). It is an unmistakable bird with a spectacular reddish crest, dark plumage and bright red bare parts. The female is very different from the male, but equally distinctive, with most of the plumage green and head grey. The young birds resemble the female but with more mottled colouring. The young male has a greyish belly.

Lifestyle: The roul roul partridge lives on the forest floor in large gregarious groups of up to 40 birds, that spend the day foraging for fruits, seeds and insects.

Family & friends: The roul roul often follows wild pigs around the forest, feeding on the pigs leftovers, such as half-eaten fruits. They use their feet to scratch for food in the leaf-litter.

Keeping in touch: The birds have a loud alarm call that is uttered when danger threatens. A quiet whistle is also used by family members to stay together in dense forest cover.

Growing up: The nest is a complex dome construction made of leaves and twigs that hides the female completely when she is inside.

Five to six eggs are laid and incubation is undertaken by the female and lasts about 18-19 days. When the chicks hatch they are well developed, but still need to be fed by the female for the first week. They stay with the parents for a further three months.
The nest dome of this species can be burst open in a hurry if predators threaten, allowing nesting material to fall onto the eggs, perhaps hiding them from sight.

Conservation news: The roul roul partridge is not considered to be globally threatened but it is vulnerable to habitat destruction particularly due to logging. What was once a widespread species is now limited in its distribution.