Many were 'borrowed' or drawn from
early pre-Christian traditions. The
commonest partridge in Palestine is
the Caccabis saxatilis, the Greek partridge. The partridge of the wilderness (Ammo-perdix heyi) is a smaller species. Both are essentially mountain and rock birds, thus differing from the English partridge, which loves cultivated fields.
The Definition and Meaning of the Partridge as a Catholic Christian Symbol
Catholic Christian symbolism in art provides a clear graphic illustration which represents people or items of religious significance. What is the definition and the meaning of the Partridge? The Partridge is a heavy-bodied small-winged game bird resembling a gallinaceous bird but related to the ratite birds such as the quail or grouse. The Partridge is a symbol of Satan who wishes to steal all souls from God just as the partridge steals eggs from other nests.
Reference to the Partridge in the Bible
The following reference to the partridge is in the Bible:
In 1 Sam. 26:20 "David alludes to the mode of chase practised now, as of old, when the partridge, continuously chased, was at length, when fatigued, knocked down by sticks thrown along the ground."
In Jer. 17:11 the prophet is illustrating the fact that riches unlawfully acquired are precarious and short-lived. The exact nature of the illustration cannot be precisely determined. Some interpret the words as meaning that the covetous man will be as surely disappointed as the partridge which gathers in eggs, not of her own laying, and is unable to hatch them; others (Tristram), with more probability, as denoting that the man who enriches himself by unjust means "will as surely be disappointed as the partridge which commences to sit, but is speedily robbed of her hopes of a brood" by her eggs being stolen away from her.