“Chand ko kya maloom chahata hai usko chakor
How could the Moon discern the enchanting Chakor?
woh bechara door se dekhe kare na koi shor.”
These are the words of a classical Indian song in which the poet has simulated himself as Chakor and the moon as his beloved, expressing the grief for his malcontent love. Chakor (Alectoris Chukar) is a symbol of passionate but unreciprocated love in Indian sub continent. It is known to bewitch by the moon and for its constant gaze at moon.
Chakor or Chukar is a chunky 32-35 cm long bird of amazing color scheme like brown back, grey breast, and sandy color belly. While the face is white and legs are red. Its tail consists of 14 feathers.
Chakor belongs to the pheasant family Phasianidae and is native of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Turkey and Kashmir range. It is also connected to its western tantamount, the Red-legged Partridge, Alectoris Rufa. Normally their territories are rocky open hillsides and mainly they are found at an altitude of 2000 to 4000 m. But in Pakistan they are also observed at 600m. They do not live in humid and rainy areas. Usually Chakor travels in groups of 5 to 30 and the groups are called coveys. They like wide variety of seeds and insects as food and sometimes they also swallow the dust particles. The seeds of Eragrostis in Kashmir are their favorite diet.
In the breeding season the female lays 8 to 20 eggs in total and 1 egg per day throughout the captivity period. Their nest is a scantily lined ground scrape protected by shrubs and small brambles. Normally their nests exist on hilly slopes with rocky offshoots, above streams. Nesting Chakor may be seen within 3 km of water. It is specially known for its surgical upward flights and quick vanishing in the hills and trees. Due to their remote existence they are not threatened due to hunting but inappropriate weather patterns can be harmful for their population.
Chakor has been declared as national bird of Pakistan.