Red Deer River Naturalists

The Red Deer river Naturalists are a group dedicated to learning about and preserving natural history. They have regular programs with speakers and many field trips.


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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chukars Sighted in Red Deer

       In July of 2010 my friend Mike reported that he saw a chukar near the creek along the Bower Woods subdivision. Three weeks later I saw 2 birds in the same area.

      Chukars are not native to North America but they have been released in the Southern U.S. and have thrived. They are a species native to central Asia. They are the national bird of Pakistan.

     You can check wikipedia for a description of chukars or you can check the Cornell Laboratory site where they also have videos and audio of the bird calls.

      Chukars are a member of the pheasant family and live in arid areas. They are spruce grouse size. They have very vivid markings The head has a noticeable stripe and the wings are heavily barred.

      Now investigating a little further,Judy Boyd  tells me that people from the Bower subdivision started reporting chukar sightings in 2009. The summer of 2010 these birds nested and produced young. It is thought that there was more than one pair. It is also thought that the young did not survive as we had a very rainy June and July.

      Releases of chukars was made in several areas of Alberta in the 1930's but these birds did not succeed. They were seen for several years and then disappeared. Since there were no releases recently, it is thought these birds escaped form a sale of exotic birds which was held near the Bower subdivision in 2009.

    I found these birds to be a rather interesting sighting and always watch when I am in the area to see if they are still there.

    If anyone else has sighted chukars let us know.


  1. We just saw and photographed one in the community
    of Glamorgan in Calgary.
    Eugene West

  2. Chukar sighting in Glenbrook sw Calgary 46st and 33 av sw

  3. It's rather surprising that these birds have adapted so that they can survive in an urban area. The frequent feeders here in the winter.

  4. We have had one in our backyard for a couple of weeks in NE Edmonton.