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Tacarcuna Wood Quail

Odontophorus dialeucos

The Tacarcuna wood quail, a member of the New World quail family, is a bird cloaked in an array of earthy hues. Males boast a black crown and throat, set off by a striking white supercilium, lores, and chin. Their neck is a warm cinnamon, while the back and rump carry an olive brown with intricate black vermiculation. The chestnut breast and belly are dappled with white. Females share a similar palette but with more tawny brown underparts. Juveniles resemble females but with less white on the chin and a broader black throat.

Identification Tips

When observing these birds, look for the distinctive black and white head pattern in males and the more subdued tawny tones in females. Their size ranges from 22 to 28 cm in length, with males slightly heavier at around 264 g and females at 258 g.

Habitat

The Tacarcuna wood quail is a denizen of the subtropical forest floor, preferring the shelter of dense vegetation at elevations between 1,050 and 1,450 meters.

Distribution

This species is endemic to the Tacarcuna Ridge, straddling the border between Panama's Darién Province and Colombia's Chocó Department.

Behaviour

Little is known about the Tacarcuna wood quail's behavior, as it remains a rather elusive subject for ornithologists.

Song & Calls

The vocal repertoire of the Tacarcuna wood quail is not well-documented, making any encounter with its calls a valuable moment for bird enthusiasts and researchers alike.

Breeding

Breeding habits are largely a mystery, with only a juvenile specimen giving a clue that breeding may occur around early June.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Tacarcuna wood quail as Vulnerable. Its limited range makes it particularly susceptible to the whims of nature and the impact of human activities.

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