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Grouse, Partridges and Pheasants Tetraoninae (5)

(Banner Photos: Red Grouse by Michael John O'Mahony)

Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus
Rare resident, apparently maintaining a toehold in the north Cork mountains. Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus urogallus
Extinct. Old texts suggest the bird was present in the county up to the mid-1700s.

Grey Partridge Perdix perdix perdix
May be extinct as a native species in the county and releases of hand-reared birds by hunters makes assessing the status of ‘wild’ populations difficult. Introduction of birds in the Fermoy area by local gun club continues.

Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
Rare passage migrant, with most records in mid to late summer.
Probably bred up to the 19th century (Ussher & Warren:xxviii).

30 records involving 39 birds between 1964 (first records post 19th century) and the end of 1993 when the speices was removed from the IRBC rarities list. Usually seen singly but up to five together have been recorded.

Analysis of these records show the following:

Locations where birds have been seen: Aghadoe, Killeagh, Ballycotton, Ballymackeigh (Killeagh), Ballymacoda, Ballyquirke (Killeagh), Ballyspillane (Midleton), Baltimore, Cape Clear Island, Fanisk Bridge(Killeagh), Galley Head, Inch (Killeagh), Kilcrea, Old Head of Kinsale, Oysterhaven, Roche's Point, The Lough (Cork City).

Birds seen between April and November with most records during the summer months.

Distribution: a widespread summer visitor to much of Europe, which accounts
for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. A very rare breeding bird in Ireland, mainly in the midlands, no breeding records for county Cork.

Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Common resident throughout the region, numbers often artificially high as the species is often bred for hunting.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution