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Harlequin Quail - BirdForum Opus

Harlequin Quail redirects here. For the species Cyrtonyx montezumae, see Montezuma Quail

Photo by tf1044x
Kenya, May 2009
Coturnix delegorguei


16–19 cm (6¼-7½ in)

  • Black and white facial mask
  • Black chest edged with rufous-coloured feathers
  • Back abdomen
  • Rufous flanks


  • Faint black necklace
  • Brown-spotted abdomen
  • Pale rufous flanks


Africa; found from Kenya and Uganda, west to the Ivory Coast and south to northern South Africa; also Madagascar.



Clements accepts three subspecies[1]:

  • C. d. delegorguei from mainland Africa and Madagascar
  • C. d. histrionica on Sao Tome
  • C. d. arabica southwestern Arabia; but possibly not a valid taxon, as most records from this region may refer to migrants


Open grasslands with scattered bush or palms. Also areas under cultivation. Their habitat, and therefore their distribution is restricted by forested areas.



Their diet consists almost entirely of grass and weed seeds and other green plant material.


The nest is a ground scrape lined with weeds. The clutch consists of 3-9 cream eggs which are incubated for 17-18 days. There could be another 2-3 clutches in a season.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2) DRAFT. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved March 2017)
  4. Encyclopaedia of Life

Recommended Citation

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