Painted Button-quail

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Habitat: Woodland, Forest

Temperate and eastern tropical forests and woodlands form the habitats of this species. They appear to prefer closed canopies with some understory and deep leaf litter on the ground.

Painted Button-quails create distinctive “soup-plate” depressions when foraging, by spinning alternately on either leg and using the other to scrape away the leaf litter, leaving circular depressions in which they look for food.

Painted Button-quail are active during the evening, night and early morning, feeding on the ground. They are usually seen in pairs or small family parties, searching for seeds, fruit, leaves and insects.

While not much is known, the indications are that the female is polyandrous, that is, she courts a male, mates and lays his clutch of eggs, then leaves him and searches for a second male to repeat the process. Females in captivity have had 3-4 mates and clutches in a breeding season. The female builds a domed nest of leaves, sticks and grasses beneath a tussock of grass, or at the foot of a rock or sapling, and lays 3-4 eggs at a 2-3 day laying interval between each egg. The male incubates the eggs once the clutch is complete, and all the eggs hatch at the same time. The chicks leave the nest immediately and are only fed by the male for 7-10 days. The chicks can fly 10 days after leaving the nest.