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| Last Updated:: 08/04/2015

Elusive partridge photographed for the first time by Bengaluru shutterbug

 The Wikipedia page shows only a sketch for an image. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which categorises the bird as vulnerable, has only a colourful painting — at least two decades old — as reference.


The Chestnut-breasted Partridge ( Arborophila mandellii ), endemic to the Eastern Himalayas, had eluded shutterbugs, until immense patience and a stroke of luck granted Bengaluru-based wildlife photographer Gururaj Moorching a two-minute encounter with the rare bird.


There are nearly 45 different species of partridges, of which the Chestnut-breasted Partridge — which gets its scientific name from an Italian naturalist — is classified as a ‘hill partridge’. IUCN estimates that about 2,500 Chestnut-breasted Partridges live in Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan and Lower Tibet along the Himalayas.


The photographer had gone to Arunachal at the end of March to West Kamang district, where more than 800 bird species have been spotted.


“The partridge had been heard and seen before, but somehow not photographed. I heard their calls for three days, and I figured that they tend to cross the road late in the evening,” said Mr. Moorching, who took to wildlife photography four years ago.


After squatting in silence on a lonely stretch for over three hours, he spotted a female bird crossing the road nearly 25 feet away. Before the shy avian could scurry away into the thicket, Mr. Moorching clicked the first-ever photograph of the bird.