Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 10, 51): Partridges protect their nests with thorns and twigs so that they are safe from animals. After the eggs are laid the partridge moves them somewhere else, so that the laying place does not become known, and covers them with soft dust. The hens hide their eggs even from their mates, because the males break the eggs so that the females remain available to them. The cocks fight duels with each other over their desire for the hens; it is said that the loser in the fight has to submit sexually to the winner. The hens can become pregnant by merely standing facing the cock, and if they open their beak and put out their tongue at that time, they are sexually excited. Even the air blown from a cock flying overhead, or the sound of a cock crowing, is enough to cause pregnancy. If a fowler approaches the nest, the hen will lure him away by running away while pretending to be injured. If the hen has no eggs to protect, she does not run but lies on her back in a furrow and holds a clod of earth in her claws to cover herself.
Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:63): The partridge (perdix) gets its name from perdesthai (to break wind). It is an impure bird because through lust males have sex with males. It is a deceitful bird that steals and hatches the eggs of other birds, but it gets no benefit from this, because when the chicks hear the voice of their true mother they leave the one who hatched them and return to their mother.
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