More Birds in TaiwanEurasian Teal
ON TAIWAN “Endemic Subspecies of Taiwan birds—first impressions”, by N. J.
Collar, from BirdingASIA
No. 2, December 2004. Presented with permission.
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Turnix suscitator rostrata
The Barred Buttonquail is a small (16 cm) quail-like bird. Females have a blackish crown with gray and white mottling, a black chin and throat, black barring on the upper breast, and rufous flanks, belly and undertail. The male is smaller, has black barring on the throat, flanks and upper breast, and rufous flanks and undertail. Both sexes are mottled brown above. The bill and legs are gray. The Taiwan race rostrata may be slightly more rufous below (female) and the male may have reduced barring on the throat, but differences with mainland subspecies appear to be minor.
The Barred Buttonquail prefers grassland, crops, deserted fields, scrub, bamboo thickets and forest edges. The nest is a pad of grass in a depression on the ground, often in a grass clump with the strands of grass pulled over to form a dome with a side entrance. The female usually lays 4 eggs. Buttonquails have reversed sex roles: the females are larger and more brightly patterned and the male incubates the eggs and raises the chicks alone
The Barred Buttonquail is secretive, shy and difficult to observe in the wild. If frightened, it will usually squat, immobile, and if approached closely may creep or run away. In Taiwan it is a common resident from lowlands to mid elevations.
References: Handbook of Birds of the World Vol. 3
A Field Guide to the Birds of China (Mackinnon and Phillipps); 100 Common Birds of Taiwan (Wild Bird Society of Taipei); N. J. Collar, “Endemic subspecies of Taiwan birds—first impressions”, in Birding ASIA, Number 2, December 2004