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Melissa Mayntz

12 Birds of Christmas

By December 14, 2013

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From today through December 25, we're celebrating the gift of birds with the top 12 birds of Christmas. Some are popular symbols of the holiday in carols or decorations, others are associated with significant parts of the holiday through plants, meals or other associations. Will your favorite Christmas bird make the list?

Our first candidate, the gray partridge, is the same game bird believed to be a namesake for the famous "partridge in a pear tree" of the 12 Days of Christmas fame. These game birds are found throughout Europe and Asia, and have been introduced in North America. They do not migrate, and are likely to be seen in open grassland and other suitable habitat throughout the Christmas season.

What birds represent Christmas for you? Share your choices in the comments, and stay tuned for the next 12 days to see what holiday birds make the list!

Gray Partridge
Photo David Mitchell


December 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm
(1) Beth Peterson says:

Although the bird I probably first should think of is the gray partridge, I always think of their cousin, the ptarmigan, in their winter plumage first. Other than associating them with the north and winter, I’m not really sure why I associate them with Christmas. LOL

December 19, 2013 at 10:26 am
(2) Lorraine Schoch says:

Hi There,

I need photo’s of backyard Penna bird’s. Can you tell me where I can find them,they are for someone that is sick, for Christmas.



December 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm
(3) Kyle says:

For me, rough-legged hawks represent Christmastime. I tend to see the season’s first right around Thanksgiving, with plenty of additional sightings leading up to Christmas. They remind me of winter birding, Christmas Bird Counts, and spending time in the field with family and friends.

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