As we were pulling out of our driveway the other day I spotted something odd in front of our deer ravaged Yew bushes….
Naturally I made the husband stop while I ran back inside for my camera.
It was an odd looking bird I hadn’t seen before…
And when I looked it up online, I understood why.
It was a Chukar.
Introduced from Eurasia, the sandy-brown Chukar is a game bird that lives in high desert plains of western North America, as well as in Hawaii and New Zealand. Its namesake call echoes across dry rocky slopes. It runs and scampers up steep terrain with the agility and speed of a mountain goat, prompting hunters to nickname it the “devil bird” for the brutal chase it gives. Dark bars on the sides and a band across the head and neck adorn this red-billed game bird.
A devil bird?
Well that’s disturbing…
If you look at the map of it’s range in the U.S…..
You’ll see it’s a long way from Maine.
Which got me curious enough to do a little research.
Oh, stop being so dramatic….. you might learn something.
It’s nothing you need or want to know, but still.
Depending on where you live, you may have the fortune of encountering a medium-sized game bird called Chukar. You’ll recognize this bird from their inclusion in many North American field guides, though they are not a native species. Chukars, pronounced “chuh-kahr“, are an introduced species, originating from mountains of middle Eurasia, now common around the western United States’ Great Basin north into western Canada. With this history, and a lack of showing any establishing populations in Maine, Chukars should be treated like other escaped domestic fowl.
Of course. Happy to…
The American Birding Association put forth Criteria for Determining Establishment of Exotics which Maine’s Chukars don’t meet. These birds are raised and released by commercial hunting operations with no success establishing wild populations. Northern Bobwhites are another game species widely released in Maine. While these small quails have successfully bred in the wild multiple times, none of the populations appear to be growing or even stable enough to warrant becoming established.
So basically they’ve taken these poor birds, who have no hope of surviving here, and released them into the wild so they can hunt and kill them. Of course the ones they don’t shoot will probably die of cold or starvation.
Makes me wish I had scooped the sweet little guy up and brought him in the house as a pet.
Humans are cruel.