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Barred Buttonquail - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies T. s. fasciatus, female
Photo © by Romy Ocon
Masinloc, Zambales, Philippines, July 2005

Includes: Powell's Buttonquail or Dusky Buttonquail

Turnix suscitator


Subspecies T. s. taigoor, male
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Dist. Gurgaon, Haryana, India, December-2017

13·5–17·5 (5¼-7 in)

  • head boldly patterned
  • underparts barred
  • legs and feet greyish or yellowish (some subspecies)

Females are brighter and larger than males. They have a black throat and in some subspecies a rufous collar


The different subspecies vary in size and in patterns and coloration of plumage; especially the ones in the Lesser Sundas seem different from those in the Greater Sundas.


Asia: China, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Eastern and Western Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Japan, Taiwan
Southeast Asia: Indochina, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia, Greater Sundas, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Lesser Sundas, Bali


Reference [6] notes that the most distinctive subspecies is powelli. This may be treated as a separate species, "Dusky Buttonquail" or "Powell's Buttonquail" (T. powelli).


Subspecies T. s. taigoor, female showing black on throat and breast
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Dist. Gurgaon, Haryana, India, 23 August 2016

Clements recognises the following subspecies [1]:

  • T. s. taigoor: India
  • T. s. leggei: Sri Lanka
  • T. s. plumbipes: Nepal, Sikkim and Bangladesh to northern Burma
  • T. s. bengalensis: North-eastern India (lower western Bengal)
  • T. s. okinavensis: Southern Kyushu Island and Makenoshima Island south to Ryukyu Islands
  • T. s. rostratus: Taiwan
  • T. s. blakistoni: Burma to southern China, northern Indochina and Hainan Island
  • T. s. pallescens: South-central Burma
  • T. s. thai: Central Thailand
  • T. s. atrogularis: Thai-Malay Peninsula
  • T. s. suscitator: Sumatra, Belitung Island and Bangka Island to Java and Bali
  • T. s. baweanus: Bawean Island (off Java)
  • T. s. fasciatus: Northern Philippines (Luzon to Mindoro, Sibuyan and Masbate)
  • T. s. haynaldi: South-western Philippines (Palawan and Calamian Islands)
  • T. s. nigrescens: Philippines (Negros, Cebu and Panay)
  • T. s. rufilatus: Sulawesi
  • T. s. powelli: "Dusky Buttonquail". Lesser Sundas. [back grey without rufous tones. Female with reduced or absent black throat, ventral rufous much reduced; male with very coarse chest barring]

Three additional subspecies: kuiperi, machetes and baweanus are generally considered invalid.[2]


Grasslands and scrub. Cultivated areas with crops and sugar cane.

Subspecies T. s.atrogularis, male
Photo © by SeeToh
Pulau Punggol Barat, Singapore, July 2016



The diet consists of grass and weed seeds, green shoots and invertebrates.


The female builds a grass-lined ground nest, in scrub jungle or crops.

The male incubates the 3 or 4, greyish-white eggs, which are heavily speckled with reddish-brown or blackish-purple, and cares for the young. The female may have several different mates during the season.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing the id of this species
  3. Avibase
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2017)
  5. Wikipedia
  6. Eaton, JA, B van Balen, NW Brickle, FE Rheindt 2021. Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago (Greater Sundas and Wallacea), Second Edition. Lynx Editions. ISBN978-84-16728-44-2

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