The Chukar Patridge is the national bird of Iraq and of Pakistan, where its name is derived from chakor in Sanskrit. Literary mentions of it in the northern areas of the Indian subcontinent date back to the Rig Veda (c. 1700 BC).
Native to the Middle East and southern Asia, the Chukar was brought as a game bird to North America, where it has thrived in some arid regions of the west. From late summer to early spring, Chukars travel in coveys, but they may be hard to see as they range through the brush of steep desert canyons.
When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly, but if necessary it flies a short distance. Chukar will take a wide variety of seeds and some insects as food. It also ingests grit. In Kashmir, the seeds of a species of Eragrostis was particularly dominant in their diet. In North Indian and Pakistani culture, as well as in Indian mythology, the chukar sometimes symbolizes intense, and often unrequited, love. It is said to be in love with the moon and to gaze at it constantly.