This is the commonest partridge in many parts of Europe, as well as in other parts of the world were it had been introduced. It is grey in colour, but both sexes have a brick-red face, while the males have a large chestnut belly patch. Despite these highlights, grey partridges are very well camouflaged. If threatened, they crouch down and remain still. Only a close approach makes them speed away low over the ground on rapidly beating wings.
Grey partridges eat seeds and shoots, sometimes scraping away snow to feed. In autumn and winter, they form groups, or coveys, of about 20 birds, which roost together. These break up in spring, as pairs prepare to breed. The females have maximum clutch sizes of about 20 eggs. However, only a small proportion of the chicks survive.