Common buttonquail

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The common buttonquail (Turnix sylvaticus) belongs to the family Turnicidae. These buttonquail species are unrelated to true quails. These T. sylvaticus species are resident in southern Spain, Africa, Indian subcontinent, tropical Asia and Indonesia.

Taxonomy of Common buttonquail

  • Scientific Name: Turnix sylvaticus
  • Common Name: Common buttonquail
  • French: Turnix d’Andalousie; German: Laufhühnchen; Spanish: Torillo andaluz;
  • Other names: Small Buttonquail, Kurrichane Buttonquail, Turnix sylvatica and Tetrao sylvaticus;
  • Family: Turnicidae › Charadriiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Desfontaines, 1789
The nine recognized subspecies of Turnix sylvaticus are: T. s. sylvaticus, T. s. lepurana, T. s. dussumier, T. s. davidi, T. s. whiteheadi, T. s. nigrorum, T. s. celestinoi, T. s. suluensis and T. s. bartelsorum. Turnix sylvaticus is closely related to T. maculosus.
Indian birds - Common buttonquail - Turnix sylvaticus
Indian birds - Common buttonquail - Turnix sylvaticus
Indian birds - Common buttonquail - Turnix sylvaticus
Indian birds - Common buttonquail - Turnix sylvaticus


These buttonquail species are small birds measuring about 15 cm. in length. The male T. sylvaticus birds weigh between 30 to 60 grams and the female birds weigh between 40 to 70 grams. The upper parts are sandy brown and the belly is buff. The flanks have black markings and the face is plain with pale eyebrows. The female T. sylvaticus make a loud hoom-hoom-hoom sound and the males calls with kek-kek-kek sound.


These buttonquail species inhabit scrub jungles, bushy savanna, grass-covered plains and dry agricultural fields.

Feeding habits

These buttonquail species feed on seeds, grass, invertebrates, insects and worms.


The female buttonquail builds a ground nest with a slight pad of dry grass. The male T. sylvaticus incubates the eggs and raises the hatchlings. The clutch usually contains four speckled greyish eggs. The T. sylvaticus breeding season is usually between June to September.


The common buttonquail species are distributed in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, southern Spain and Africa.

Movement Patterns

These buttonquail species are resident in their distributed regions.

Status and conservation

The common buttonquail global population size has not been quantified. Habitat destruction and agricultural expansion are the main threats to the survival of these T. sylvaticus species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these buttonquail species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Turnix sylvaticus
Species:T. sylvaticus
Binomial name:Turnix sylvaticus
Distribution:Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Indonesia, Indochina, southern Spain and Africa;
Feeding habits:seeds, grass, invertebrates, insects and worms;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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