I've got a possible specimen of Alectoris rufa (red-legged partridge) from a nineteenth century context in Britain. Yalden & Alabrella state that the bird was introduced to Britain in Suffolk in the 1790s. Shrubb expands on this and states that several estates imported and released the bird in South-East/East England beginning in the seventeenth century and that, although the 1790's release is often credited as the point of origin for the British population, contemporaries thought an 1820 release on the Suffolk/Norfolk border a more likely culpable release and that in reality the modern population probably has its routes in several different releases. (It seems criticism of the 1820 release has to be read against attempts to eradicate the bird in the 1830s).
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew of any British archaeological sites that have yielded specimens of the bird previously? Obviously this runs into the usual problems of what's been studied from Modern archaeological contexts in the country.
Lee G. Broderick, MSc, MA, FZS.
Oxford Archaeology Ltd.
+44 (0)1865 980775
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