Red-backed Buttonquail

Turnix maculosus

The red-backed buttonquail (Turnix maculosus) is a species of bird in the family Turnicidae. It is found in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands. Other names by which it is known in different parts of its range include black-backed, black-spotted and orange-breasted buttonquail. There are fourteen recognised subspecies. The red-backed buttonquail is a small stocky bird with round-tipped wings and a short tail. The length varies between 12 and 16 cm. The female is larger than the male and weighs between 32 and 51 g to the male's 23 to 39 g. The subspecies T. m. melanotus, found in northern Australia, has a pale yellow beak, yellowish irises and yellowish legs and feet. The front and top of the head are blackish scalloped with grey, and the side of the head, the neck and throat are brownish-buff, with a reddish-brown partial collar. The upper parts are slate grey, narrowly barred with reddish-brown and black. The under-wing plumage is pale grey. The lower throat is whitish, darkening to buff on the breast and belly, the sides being boldly marked with spots and scallops. The sexes are similar in appearance, but the female is more vividly coloured with a brighter yellow beak and more distinctive chestnut collar. Juveniles have a much darker colouring. Other subspecies vary slightly from this colouring.
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Red-backed Buttonquails on Birda

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Bryn Pickering
11 May 2023 - 5:27pm
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