Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Painted Button-quail
Turnix varius
(Viewing 4 of 11 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples Painted Button-Quails frequent the undergrowth of forests and woodlands, usually where there is a thick layer of mulch on the ground. In some areas, more open areas on rocky hillsides with tussock grassland are favoured. Like the other species of Button Quail they leave small circular cleared areas in the litter, termed platelets, which result from their habit of scratching and turning in circular fashion.

Perhaps the most distinctive trait of Painted Button-Quail is the reversal of the role of the sexes. The females are larger, more brightly coloured and carry out duties such as courtship and territory defence (they do most of the calling) and may mate with several males. They lay four eggs in a simple nest on the ground and these are left for the male to incubate. He also tends to the young once they have hatched.

Painted Button-Quail inhabit forest country along the east and southern coasts of Australia and Tasmania, from the Atherton Tableland around to Eyre Peninsula and also in SW W.A. up as far as Shark Bay. They are also found inland in mallee country.

Photo: 014201-D

014201-D ... Painted Button-quail, female, Mt. Coochin, Qld.

Photo: 014202-D

014202-D ... Painted Button-quail

Photo: 014205-D

014205-D ... Painted Button-quail, female, Severn River, Qld.

Photo: 014206-D

014206-D ... Painted Button-quail

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