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Barred Buttonquail (Common Bustard-Quail)

The Barred Buttonquail or Common Bustard-Quail (Turnix suscitator), is one of a small family of birds which resemble, but are unrelated to, true quails. This species is resident from India across tropical Asia to south China, Indonesia and the Philippines. In India it is widespread and is found up to 8200 feet in elevation in the Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia and most of Southeast Asia and the Philippines.

This typical little quail is rufous-brown above, rusty and buff below. Chin, throat and breast closely barred with black. Females are larger and more richly colored, with throat and middle of breast black. The blue-grey bill and legs, and yellowish white eyes are diagnostic, as are also the pale buff shoulder-patches on the wings when in flight. Absence of hind toe distinguishes Bustard and Button quails from true quails.

This quail differs from true quails chiefly in the female being polyandrous. The female is the brighter of the sexes, initiates courtship and builds the ground nest. She fights with other females for the possession of a cock, uttering a loud drumming drr-r-r-r-r as a challenge to rival hens and also to announce herself to a cock. Eggs when laid are left to be incubated by the cock which also tends the young, which can run as soon as they are hatched. The hen goes off to acquire another husband, and perhaps yet another, and so on, evidently only one at a time.

Found in most habitats except dense forest and desert, it is partial to scrub jungle, light deciduous forest, and neighborhood of cultivation. It is found in pairs throughout scrub and grassland. Widespread and common throughout its large range, the Barred Buttonquail is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Barred Buttonquail Common Bustard-Quail


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