Sources : Partridge

Aristotle [ca. 350 BCE] (De animalibus Book 5, 4.7; 6, 8.2): [Book 5, 4.7] If the wind blows from the cock partridge to the hen, these last are impregnated; and often, if they hear the voice of the cock when they are inclined for sexual intercourse, or if he flies over them, they become pregnant from the breath of the cock. [Book 6, 8.2] Partridges make two nests of eggs, upon one of which the male sits, on the other the female; and each of them hatches and brings up its own: and the male has sexual intercourse with its young as soon as they are hatched. - [Cresswell translation, 1887]

Ovid [1st century CE] (The Metamorphoses, Book 8, 236-259): Daedalus was jealous, and hurled the boy headlong from Minerva’s sacred citadel, claiming that he had fallen. But Pallas Minerva, who favors those with quick minds, caught him, and turned him into the partridge, masking him with feathers in midair. His inborn energy was transferred to swift wings and feet, and he kept his mother’s name, Perdix, from before. But the bird does not perch above the ground, and does not make its nest on branches or on high points, but flies low on whirring wings over the soil, and lays its eggs in a sheltered place. - [Kline translation]

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 5, 4.7; 6, 2.9; 6, 8.2; 9, 9.1-5): [Book 5, 4.7] And if the wind blows from the cock partridge to the hen, these last are impregnated; and often, if they hear the voice of the cock when they are inclined for sexual intercourse, or if he flies over them, they become pregnant from the breath of the cock. During the act of intercourse, both sexes open their mouths, and protrude their tongues. [Book 6, 2.9] The pregnancy and conception of barren eggs is quick in most birds, as in the partridge, on account of the violence of their sexual desires; for if the hen stands in the way of the breath of the male, she conceives, and immediately becomes of no use for fowling; for the partridge appears to have a very distinct smell. [Book 6, 8.2] Partridges make two nests of eggs, upon one of which the male sits, on the other the female; and each of them hatches and brings up its own: and the male has sexual intercourse with its young as soon as they are hatched. [Book 9, 9.1] The quail and partridge shelter their young under their wings, like the domestic fowl. [Book 9, 9.2] They do not lay and incubate in the same place, lest any one should discover the place while they sat there for a long while; and when any one in hunting falls upon the nest, the partridge halts before him, as if she could be taken, and draws him after her in the hopes of capture, until all the young ones have had time to escape, and after she flies back and recalls them to their nest. The partridge does not lay less than ten eggs, and often sixteen. As it has been already observed, it is a bird of an evil and cunning disposition. In the spring they separate with singing and fighting into pairs with the females which each may happen to take. The partridge being a bird of violent passions, it tries to prevent the female from incubation by rolling and breaking the eggs, if it can find them. The female, opposing this artifice by another, lays her eggs as she runs, and often, from her desire of laying, she drops her eggs wherever she may be, if the male is present; and, that they may all be preserved, she does not return to them. If she is observed by men, she leads them away from her eggs as from her young ones, and shows herself just before them until they are drawn away from the nest. [Book 9, 9.3] When the hen has escaped for incubation, the cocks crow and fight together. These are called widowers. The vanquished in the combat follows his conqueror who alone has intercourse with him; and if any one is overcome by a second, or by any chance one, the victor has secret intercourse with him. This does not take place always, but only at certain seasons of the year. ... Tame partridges have sexual intercourse with wild ones, and strike and insult them. [Book 9, 9.4] The leader of the wild partridges attacks the partridge used in fowling, and goes out crowing as if he would fight. When he is taken in the trap, the other goes out and crows in the same manner. If the partridge used for fowling is a cock, they behave in this way; but if it is a female, and she calls, the leader answers her call; and all the rest rise up and beat him, and drive him away from the female, because he attends to her instead of themselves. For this reason he often comes silently, that the others may not hear his voice and come out to fight him. And some experienced fowlers say that the male approaches the female in silence, that the other males may not hear him and compel him to fight them. The partridge not only calls, but also utters a shrill cry and other sounds. [Book 9, 9.5] And it often happens, when the hen is sitting, that if she sees the male approaching the decoy bird, she will get up from her nest, and remain in his way, that he may have intercourse with her, and not be drawn away by the decoy bird. Partridges and quails have such violent sexual desires that they will fall upon the fowlers and often perch upon their heads.

Aelianus [170-230 CE] (On the Characteristics of Animals, Book 3, 5): Partridges ... are unrestrained in their indulgence. For that reason they destroy the eggs that have been laid, in order that the female birds may not be too busy with nursing their chicks to have time for sexual intercourse. - [Scholfield translation]

Gaius Julius Solinus [3rd century CE] (De mirabilibus mundi / Polyhistor, Chapter 7.28-32): [Chapter 7.28] Whereas the partridges everywhere are certainly free, as are all birds, in Boeotia they are not. They cannot fly where they will, but have boundaries in the very air which they do not dare to cross. They never fly forth from their borders, and thus do not traverse Attic soil. [Chapter 7.29] This is peculiarly Boeotian. What is common to all partridges, we will now pursue. Partridges make nests with clever defenses. They clothe the exits of the nests with thorny bushes, so the animals which harass them are warded off by the harsh prongs. [Chapter 7.30] They cover the eggs with dust, and return to them secretly, lest their frequent comings and goings betray where they are. The females repeatedly move the eggs about to cheat the males, who often crush them with their impatient flattering. The males fight for mates, and it is believed that the losers have to let the victors treat them like females. The females are so agitated by sexual lust, that if a breeze blows from the males, they are made pregnant by the smell. [Chapter 7.31] If a man draws near where they nest, the mothers come out voluntarily and offer themselves to whoever is approaching. They assume a weakness of foot or wing (seeming as though they might by and by be caught) and counterfeit a limping walk. This fraud incites their enemies, and baffles them, until, enticed for a long while, they are diverted from the nests. [Chapter 7.32] Nor are the chicks more torpid in the art of defensive action. When they begin to perceive that they themselves are seen, they cast themselves on their backs, and lift little clods of earth with their feet. They are so cleverly concealed by these that they escape notice even when seized. - [Arwen Apps translation, 2011]

Saint Ambrose [4th century CE] (Hexameron, Book 6, chapter 3.13): The partridge is cunning in that she steals the eggs of another partridge and fosters them with her own body. But she is unable to profit from this, because she loses the brood as soon as she has hatched it. When these hear the voice of the partridge who has laid the eggs, they leave their adopted nest and, following a natural instinct, go to her whom they recognize as their true and natural mother. - [Savage translation, 1961]

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:63): The partridge [perdix] takes its name from its call. It is a crafty bird, and filthy, for the male mounts another male; its violent lust ignores gender. It is deceitful to the extent that it will steal and hatch the eggs of another, but this deceit is fruitless, for at last when the hatchlings hear the call of their true parent, through a kind of natural instinct they abandon the bird that has reared them and return to the one who conceived them. - [Barney, Lewis, et. al. translation]

Thomas of Cantimpré, Liber de natura rerum [circa 1200-1272 CE], Birds 5.101: The partridge has its name from its voice. Jacobus, Ambrose, and Isidore say that it is a bird so deceitful and fraudulent that it fosters by robbing another's eggs; but this deception has no effect: for when the chicks have first heard the voice of their true mother, by a certain natural instinct they leave the one that nurtured them and return to the one that gave birth. It loses its eggs in its own nest, when they are snatched by another and fostered. It builds its nest among the thickets of thorns. It covers its egg with a blanket of dust. When anyone approaches their nests, the mothers, having left the nest, voluntarily offer themselves to those who come, and feign weakness of their feet or wings, as if they could be caught at once, and they take slower steps. This lie fools those who follow them, until they are lured farther from the nests. The chicks, when they are afraid of being discovered, raise lumps of earth with their feet and hide under them. Usually the mothers carry the chicks to another place, so as to deceive the fathers, who afflict them with intrusive flattery. And, as the Experimentator says, it forgets the nature of its of sex. The mother flies in circles around the hunters until her chicks have fled, and after the flight of the chicks she also flees; and then, overcome with fear, calls the chicks. The meat of partridges is the healthiest of all the meats of wild birds. When they are caught by the fowler in the strangling net, one follows the other, and the miserable company does not reconsider the danger of following its captive associates. In which is clearly shown the insanity of the people who perish through sins, while one by the example of another falls into the trap of the devil who preys on precious souls. Partridges sit at night with their backs turned to each other. Female partridges are so moved by lust that they are said to conceive by smell. For at the season of lust their tongues are stretched out to each other with desire before intercourse. While they are together, they make a stench during intercourse. The age of the partridge is said to be up to sixteen years. What we have said of partridges, namely, that they conceive from the wind, we assert this also of pigeons, geese, peacocks, and chickens. But their offspring are sterile, smaller and less pleasant in taste, and more moist. Soaked in vinegar, they are softened to such an extent that they can pass through the anus. Pliny said that partridge gall with honey was beneficial to the horse for the clarity of the eyes. A partridge does not grow fat, Pliny testifies. - [Badke translation/paraphrase]

Bartholomaeus Anglicus [13th century CE] (Liber de proprietatibus rerum, Book12.30): The Partridge is called Perdix, and hath that name of her owne voice, as Isidore saith, and is an uncleane bird. For the male lepeth up and treadeth the male: And strong liking of lechery forgetteth the sexe and distinction of male and female, as Isidore sayth. And is so guilefull, that the one stealeth the Egges of the other, and sitteth abrood on them. But this fraude hath no fruite, for when the Birdes bée haught, and heare the voice of their owne mother: they forsake her that brooded them when they were Egges, and kept them as her owne Birdes, and tourne and followe theyr owne mother naturall, as Isidore sayth, and Ambrose also. And the Partridge travaileth not in layeng and in brooding, lyke as other foules doe, as Arist[otle] saith. Some Fowles (he sayth) bréed and gender lightly, as the Partridge. And ye mother of the Partridge flieth all about the hunter, till her birdes be flowen. And after the birds be flowen, shée the damme flyeth after, and calleth her birdes: the which young Partridges soone after they be hatcht they follows the damme, and séeke their meat. And the Partridge hath few fethers and much flesh: and therefore he is féeble of flight, and in flight he riseth but little from the ground, and falleth oft to the ground after a little while. Also ye Partridge dreadeth ye Sparhauk, and flieth her: and as long as hée séeth the Sparhauke in the aire, he riseth not from ye earth into the aire. And at the noise and ringing of a little bell, he flyeth about uppon the ground, and falleth into the net or grinne ere he be ware. Plinius. lib. 29. ca. 6. saith, that the Partridges gall, with even weight of honnie, cléereth much the sight, and therefore it shall bee kept in a silver boxe. Theyr eyen with hony sod in a brasen vessell, helpe to heale the pimples of eien. - [Batman]