Domestic Birds

Species of Buttonquails / Button Quails or Hemipodes


  • Barred Buttonquail, Turnix suscitator
  • Black-breasted Buttonquail, Turnix melanogaster
  • Chestnut-backed Buttonquail, Turnix castanota
  • Hottentot Buttonquail, Turnix hottentotta
  • Little Buttonquail (Turnix velox) resemble, but are unrelated to, the true quails. This species is one of the more common buttonquails in Australia, inhibiting grassland habitats. The female is an unmarked pale color below and straw-brown above with white streaking; the male is similar but less neatly-marked. The species has a large pale bill, and pale eye.
  • Madagascar Buttonquail, Turnix nigricollis
  • Painted Buttonquail (Turnix varia) resemble, but are unrelated to, the true quails. They are resident in Australia. This buttonquail is about 19-20 cm long and can be found in grassy forests and woodlands. Its died includes insects and seeds. The female is the more brightly colored of the sexes. Her eye is red, and her crown, face and breast is flecked with white. Her shoulders are chestnut, with thin white streaking above them. The male is slightly smaller and duller. The males incubate the eggs for a fortnight and then care for the young.
  • Philippine Buttonquail, Turnix worcesteri
  • Red-backed Buttonquail, Turnix maculosa
  • Red-chested Buttonquail, Turnix pyrrhothorax
  • Small Buttonquail, Turnix sylvatica aka Andalusian Hemipode: Resemble, but are unrelated to, the true quails. They are resident from southern Spain and Africa through India and tropical Asia to Indonesia. This tiny buttonquail is only 15cm, which avoids flying. It inhabits warm grasslands or scrub jungle and feeds on insects and seeds. Small Buttonquail resembles a Common Quail. It has streaked sandy brown upperparts, buff underparts with black flank markings and a plain face. In flight, a whitish wingbar contrasts with the grey wing. Males and females look alike, but immature birds are more spotted below. The female initiates courtship and builds the ground nest. The male incubates the normally four speckled greyish eggs, and tends the young, which can run as soon as they are hatched. The female calls with a deep hoom-hoom-hoom and the male replies kek-kek-kek. Widespread throughout its large range, the Small Buttonquail is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • Spotted Buttonquail, Turnix ocellata
  • Sumba Buttonquail, Turnix everetti
  • Yellow-legged Buttonquail (Turnix tanki) resemble, but are unrelated to, the true quails. This family is peculiar in that the females are more colorful than the males and are polyandrous.

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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