White on white: partridges settle in Norilsk museum square

White on white: partridges settle in Norilsk museum square

March 17, 2023

If the birds are not hunted, they do not see threat in humans.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYRIn the very center of the northern city, in the square behind the Norilsk Museum, several white lumps settled. If you look closely, you can see in these creatures voluntary neighbors from the tundra – partridges. Charming guests chase pigeons and feel at home.

“We see this for the first time. What glorious, lumpy angels! Quite bold and quite well-fed, they probably feed on branches, but here it’s just a bushy place”, passers-by say.

Norilsk partridges are not afraid of people and pay almost no attention to us. The square is full of feeders – museum workers and ordinary Norilsk people constantly feed sparrows and pigeons. But partridges are nonsense. Or not?

According to naturalist and the tundra connoisseur, animal photographer Olga Alexandrova, partridges in the city are quite an ordinary situation:

“We see them every year. Some nest near buildings; I have seen their nests on roadsides many times. It’s just that in the summer partridges are busy breeding and don’t go to city parks”.

Olga says that the animals do not come to the city, but live next to us. The tundra zone surrounds the city closely. So animals from birth feel safe enough among people and get used to the noise.

As for the white partridges that settled right next to the museum, Olga agrees that this is an interesting, funny situation, because one thing is single flights to the city, and another is a permanent place of residence. She is sure that safety plays a role here – there are no predators and hunters in the city:

“Wonderful food that does not end thanks to our compassionate citizens. If they had not been fed, they would have flown away long ago.

We had a case when a white partridge literally fell at our feet and huddled between the snowmobile skis. At first we did not understand, but it turned out that she was saving herself in this way from the gyrfalcon, which soon flew by.

I mean that if they are not hunted, they really do not see threat in humans. And how many photos and videos I have of white partridges in the mating season, when they very kindly accepted me into their family and let me be next to them in close proximity”.

It should be reminded that Norilsk photographers help scientists to learn more about the Arctic birds, about birds wintering in our area and to save them. In recent years, birdwatching is gaining popularity in the city. We also reported that in Taimyr they managed to photograph one of the rarest and most beautiful birds in Russia – the kloktun duck. We also talked about how the Norilsk people were worried about the swan, which did not fly away with its flock and lived in the city on Dolgoye Lake.

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Text: Marina Horoshevskaya, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko

March 17, 2023

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