Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Black-breasted Button-quail
Turnix melanogaster
(Viewing 4 of 10 photos)

For many years, Black-breasted Button-quail were keenly sought after as a rare species until some of their regular haunts were discovered.They have a fairly restricted distribution in eastern Australia - coastal vine-forests and lantana on the edges of rainforest between Coff's Harbour NSW and Byfield in Qld.

Some years ago, a healthy population was discovered at Inskip Point, just off the southern tip of Fraser Island. This is where all these pictures were taken. Since that time, human intrusion, changes in the habitat and possibly wild dogs have had an adverse effect and they are quite rare there now.

Like most button-quail, Black-breasteds feed on the ground amongst thick mulch, turning round and round and scratching, which results in a small bare depression known as a platelet. In suitable habitat, the presence or absence of these platelets, which gradually disappear over a few days, is the most reliable indication of the presence or absence of the birds.

Photo: 017202-D

017202-D ... Black-breasted Button-quail, adult male, Inskip point, Qld.

Photo: 017204

017204 ... Black-breasted Button-quail, adult female.

Photo: 017205

017205 ... Black-breasted Button-quail, adult female

Photo: 017206

017206 ... Habitat at Inskip Point, Qld - Acacia/Monotoca scrub on coastal dunes.

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