I had a meeting with my friend Mark Martell at Minnesota Audubon yesterday. When I pulled into the parking lot I saw a bunch of small, round birds running in the parking lot. At first, I thought, "young pheasants?"
When I parked my car, I could see they were chukars...and rather friendly ones at that. I've seen chukars in Utah but this was the largest flock I have ever seen in Minnesota. Theses are most certainly released birds--they are native to Eurasia. Either there is a game farm nearby and they are escaping or someone is raising and releasing them.
I'm not really a fan of raising and releasing chukars--they are non native and therefore competing for food with native wildlife, they don't do well in Minnesota winters and really, all these chukars ever become are coyote and fox food...and maybe food for Cooper's hawks too.
Anyone else have chukars showing up to their feeders?