Every few months another one is found wandering the streets of New York City alone: cold, hungry, homeless and with nowhere to go.
They're called chukars (Alectoris chukar) for the "chuk-chuk" sound they make in the dry, rocky areas of the Middle East where they are native to. They were introduced to North America as game birds, and have a wild population in the high desert of California and throughout the Rocky Mountains.
In New York they are bred for their meat, and this little guy most likely escaped from a poultry market in the city. Although the Wild Bird Fund's mission is to rescue and rehabilitate wild birds, these domesticated chukars cannot survive on their own in the northeast, and they have nowhere else to go. There is no agency in New York City which will help abandoned domesticated birds.
At the Wild Bird Fund, the chukar was allowed to wander freely and explore the inner workings of the center. But chukars are happiest in flocks, and in the wild live in convoys of up to 50 individuals. It was only when a pheasant arrived at the Center did we really understand what it means to be a happy chukar.