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1

Brown Quail

(Coturnix ypsilophora)
Alternate name(s): "Swamp Quail*", "Partridge Quail", "Silver Quail", "Tasmanian Quail"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "australis": "booroolum", "burrandool"; "mooritj" (SW WA)

Size: 17-20 cm
Weight: 70-140 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Brown Quail at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "australis"

ADULT

Close-up frontal view of a Brown Quail (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Oxley Common, Brisbane, QLD, September 2017]

Close-up near-frontal view of a Brown Quail that was rescued after an attack by a predator (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, July 2012]

Close-up near-lateral view of a Brown Quail (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Oxley Common, Brisbane, QLD, September 2017]

Close-up near-lateral view of a Brown Quail that was rescued after an attack by a predator (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, July 2012]

Close-up view of a Brown Quail's feet, which are very similar to those of a domestic chicken and characterise the bird as a true quail [member of the Coturnix family] (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, July 2012]

Near-frontal view of a Brown Quail
[20 km South of Narrabri, May 2012]

Lateral view of a Brown Quail
[Near Narrabri, NSW, August 2011]

Lateral view of a Brown Quail in different light conditions
[20 km South of Narrabri, May 2012]

Lateral view of a Brown Quail on the move
[Near Narrabri, NSW, August 2011]

Lateral view of a Brown Quail stretching a wing (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Gold Coast, QLD, December 2013]

Dorsal view of a Brown Quail
[20 km South of Narrabri, May 2012]

Brown Quail caught out on a dirt road, ducking for cover
[Near Old Bar, NSW, September 2011]

3 of a total of 6 Brown Quails seen foraging in the ditch next to a country road
[Near Narrabri, NSW, August 2011]

3 Brown Quails seen foraging in a somewhat overgrown rural garden
[20 km South of Narrabri, May 2012]

Covey of about 10 Brown Quails on the edge of a waterhole
[20 km South of Narrabri, April 2006]

Closer view of the plumage on the backs of four Brown Quails
[20 km South of Narrabri, April 2006]

At the centre of this shot one can see a male with rufous colours
[20 km South of Narrabri, April 2006]

Brown Quail that was accidentally trapped in a chicken coop (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Brown Quail that was accidentally trapped in a chicken coop (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Apr Eggs: 7 - 10 Incubation period: 14 days Fledging age: N/A

The breeding season can vary, depending on local rainfall. Brown Quails can in principle breed all year round. Males and females both incubate.

Quail vs. Button-quail

Although the two genera of the true quails, Coturnix, and the button-quails, Turnix, are outwardly very similar, and therefore often listed together, there are significant differences between them (which is the reason why they are in different family groups here).

Coturnix Turnix
Similar species Chicken-like Wader-like
Toes 4 toes, one of which points backward 3 toes, all of which point forward
Nesting habits Communal Non-communal
Main incubator Female Male
Incubation period ca. 21 days ca. 14 days
No. of eggs 8-12 ≤ 4

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Scrape Material: Grass lining Height above ground: N/A

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 28 x 22 mm Colour: Creamy with dark-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Locally vagrant Elementary unit: Family clan

Brown Quails can fly, but will usually avoid predators by scurrying away along the ground, into cover. In flight their wings produce the typical whirring sound of quails and button-quails. They will fly up only at the last moment, stunning potential predators with their noisy departure.

As opposed to, e.g., Stubble Quails, we usually observe Brown Quails in family clans of up to about 10 birds.

Brown Quail ruffling its feathers, probably after preening (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Eastlakes Golf Course, Sydney, NSW, September 2013]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

brquail_20151222.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Contact call © MD
brquail_20150831_2.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
brquail_20150831.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Contact calls + warning? © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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