Chukar Partridges | VideoAlan Miller | 2/7/2013
There aren`t a lot of birds that stick around through a North Dakota winter. But these interesting creatures are among them. They`re Chukar Partridges. They stay together in groups. These are near Sleepy Hollow Park, between the Fire Station and the Early Childhood Learning Center.
"The kids love `em. I think the neatest thing is they`ve been seeing them grow. They keep getting bigger and bigger and fatter, so they know they`re growing. But they like to wave at `em. Sometimes we`ll chase them when they`re in the playground, and sometimes they`ll just sit and watch them out of the classroom windows," said Ellene Lang with ECLC.
The Chukar is the national bird of Pakistan. So how did it get here? Probably through Wayne Emil, who`s been raising and selling thousands of them each spring for the last 25 years. He says they`re ideal for teaching dogs how to hunt.
"The dog trainers, they kind of plant the birds, they dizzy them and set them in a clump of grass or something. And then they work their dog, so their dog can smell it and flush it."
It`s not difficult to imagine that some birds have escaped from time to time and found safe haven among non-hunters.
"As long as they`ve got feed and protection, and in town, I mean, you know, there`s a lot of protection from the weather, you know. They can take the cold," Emil said.
And from the roof of the firehouse to the parking lot, they provide plenty of entertainment.