Larger than the grey partridge this species was introduced from France to Great Britain in the 18th century, and has since become an important game bird there. As it is a Mediterranean species, it thrives in hot, dry areas with sandy soil. This partridge breeds naturally in southwestern and it has become naturalised in flat areas of England and Wales, where it was introduced as a game species, and has been seen breeding as far north as Cumbria and eastern Yorkshire and the western Isle of Man.
Robert Duncan (1837-1909) of Pilgrim Street, Newcastle specialised in immaculate taxidermy, using a primitive method dating from 18th century practitioners in France. Despite this, his birds are beautifully precise, presented in a plain scientific museum box display, lacking in vegetation (akin to J.Cullingford’s) with no decoration to distract from the specimens. Unusually, he normally signed and dated his cases, like an artist, rather than attach a trade label, and dated cases have been seen from the early 1860s through to the Edwardian period. Few taxidermists had time to shoot their own specimens, but Duncan was know to have both collected and mounted his specimens. John Hancock refers to him in a letter in 1880 as: ‘A good taxidemist, and his father was a good bird stuffer too’.
As close to perfection as taxidermy can get, really.