What’s the chance of finding a Partridge in a Pear Tree?

Prtridge ina per tree by Daniel Mackie at The DM Collection

Image © DanielMAckie


‘Three French hens, two turtle doves … (all together now) … and a partridge in a pear treeeeeeeee!’

“Hooray!  Let’s do it again.”

… ugh! where’s the sherry!!

Yes it’s nearly that time of year again, where every respectable Partridge, (if they know their worth), should frantically search out and scramble up the ever elusive pear tree.  In doing so they create and complete the most extravagant Christmas present known to man!

But if you are scratching around for Christmas present ideas, you’re better off heading to the market, because you’d do very well to actually come across a ‘partridge in a pear tree’.  If you were to spot one of these birds, you’re more than likely to find them on their feet rather than the wing, as they like to spend most of their time pecking around on farmland for seeds and insects.  They also nest on the ground; and all being well they are very successful at it too, as these magnificent hens produce one of the largest clutches of eggs know to man – potentially up to 22!

If you do approach a partridge, (with grand ideas of pear trees and ‘Eleven Lords a leaping’), they will rightly try to escape: at first by hot-footing it – where they are actually very good at selecting their get away route, carefully putting obstacles such as stones and foliage in the way of the pursuer – or as a last resort they will take to the air, but with their short wings and plump stocky bodies, it is in dramatic and exhausting fashion, and they’ll be keen to come back to earth as soon as it’s safe to.

You will find one explanation as to why the partridge is mostly ground dwelling and reluctant to take flight in Greek mythology, where the first ever partridge appeared when Daedalus threw his high achieving nephew, Perdix, from a cliff in an envious fit of rage.  Upon witnessing this, the Goddess Athena saved the tumbling victim by turning him into a bird, (hence the latin term for the partridge is Perdix perdix).  Following this traumatic experience, and remembering all too well his near fall to death, the partridge is generally very wary of high places, chooses not to take long flights, and does not nest in any tree; and yes, you can tell your ‘true love’ that this does include the pear variety!

buy greetings cards of the and other designs like it at The DM Collection

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