Turnix sylvaticus (Kurrichane buttonquail) 

Bosveldkwarteltjie [Afrikaans]; Ingolwane [Xhosa]; uNgoqo [Zulu]; Mabuaneng, Mauaneng [South Sotho]; Huta (generic name for quail) [Shona]; Xitsatsana (generic term for buttonquail) [Tsonga]; Lephurrwane [Tswana]; Gestreepte vechtkwartel [Dutch]; Turnix d'Andalousie [French]; Laufhühnchen, Rostkehl-kampfwachtel [German]; Toirão-comum [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Turniciformes > Family: Turnicidae

Turnix sylvaticus (Kurrichane buttonquail)  

Kurrichane buttonquail. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©]

 

The Kurrichane buttonquail occurs across Africa south of Sahel, as well is in Asia in Europe, living mainly in grasslands. It eats a mixed diet of insects and seeds, especially of grasses. It is polyandrous, nesting in a scrape in the ground lined with grass. It lays 2-4 eggs, incubated solely by the male, for about 12-15 days (recorded in captivity). They chicks leave the nest within hours of hatching, taking their first flight at about 10 days old, and are fully grown at about 35 days old.

Distribution and habitat

Widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, with relatively small populations in Asia and Europe. In southern Africa it occurs in north-eastern South Africa, northern Namibia, Botswana and southern Mozambique, generally preferring grassland areas as well as mixed Mopane (Colosphermum mopane) woodland, scrub, thickets and cultivated land.

Distribution of Kurrichane buttonquail in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Predators

Food 

It mainly forages in grassland, eating a mixed diet of insects and seeds, especially of grasses.

Breeding

  • It is probably polyandrous, meaning that one female mates with multiple males, as this behaviour has been recorded repeatedly in captivity. The complete breeding cycle takes about 53 days.
Turnix sylvaticus (Kurrichane buttonquail)  

Kurrichane buttonquail incubating its eggs, Sericea farm, South Africa. [photo Warwick Tarboton ©]

 
  • The female usually builds the nest, which is a shallow scrape in the ground lined with grass. The site of the nest is selected by the male, usually placed against or in between grass tufts.
  • Egg-laying season is usually in the rainy months, although it varies greatly between different areas.
  • It lays 2-4 eggs, incubated solely by the male, for about 12-15 days (recorded in captivity).
  • The chicks leave the nest about 4 hours after hatching, and are fed by the male for the first 4 days of their life, after which they start to feed themselves. They take their first flight at about 10 days old, and are fully grown roughly 25 days later.

Threats

Not threatened.

References

  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 

 
 

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