Order: Charadriiformes

Family:  Turnicidae

Scientific name: Turnix suscitator, Gmelin, 1789

IUCN Red list status-Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Barred Buttonquail is also known as Common Bustard Quail.
  2. Barred Buttonquail do not have hind toe.


The Barred Buttonquail is a small bird measuring 14 to 18 cm in length and weighing 35 to 50 grams. The female birds are larger and richly coloured and weigh up to 70 grams. They are generally rufous-brown above, rusty and buff below. Males have cream-colored throats, and the females have black throats. Females are more brightly coloured than the males. Side of females head are black with whitish markings. The blue-grey bill and legs, and yellowish white eyes help us to distinguish it from other quails. They do not have hind toe. Immature birds do not have bars on the breast.


The Barred Buttonquails are omnivorous. They feed on grass, green shoots, seeds, invertebrates, insects and worms. The forage time is mainly day and it is done solitarily or in groups.


The Barred Buttonquail inhabits grasslands, agricultural fields, paddy fields and grassy plains. They are adapted to areas that are dry and sandy with woody vegetation overgrowth or scrub, which they. They can also be found at mountains, edge of forests, grasslands, bamboo jungles etc. In India, it is distributed throughout the union except Jammu and Kashmir and dry areas of Rajasthan. They are also found in Sri Lanka and some areas of Bangladesh

Reproductive Behaviour

The buttonquail species breeds throughout the year with slight variation among the subspecies. Females are polyandrous. On courtship the female produce a display by swaying her body forward and backward. She will chase the male, alternating with a walk and a run. The nest is a lined scraped depression on the ground in the scrub jungle or among crop fields. Normally of 3-4 eggs are laid. Then females will leave the nest and goes in search of another male. Incubation of 13 days and young ones care is done by the male.


The calls include “drr-r-r-r-r-r” and loud sounds like “hoon-hoon-hoon”.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Yellow-legged Buttonquail (Turnix tanki).
  • Small Buttonquail (Turnix sylvacticus).
  • Turnix suscitator taigoor of Central & South India, Gujarat and Bihar
  • Turnix suscitator bengalensis of lower West Bengal.
  • Turnix suscitator leggei of Sri Lanka.

Migratory Behaviour

Common Resident