Monday, 8 July 2013

77. Small Buttonquail (Turnix sylvaticus)

Although the Small Buttonquail superficially resembles a quail it is actually unrelated to them, and is more closely related to the waders. Like some waders (e.g. phalaropes) the roles of the sexes in Small Buttonquail are reversed, with the male rearing the chicks. Within Europe, it is very scarce - it has occurred in southern Spain but may be extinct there now (different sources seemed to vary on this - due to it's cryptic plumage and secretive ways, the Small Buttonquail a difficult bird to find). It is also found more widely in Africa and parts of Asia.

Small Buttonquail, ©Dr. Raju Kasambe, via Wikimedia Commons.
Small Buttonquail sketch.
 It was hard to find a good Small Buttonquail photo to use what with it being such a reclusive species! This photo of a Buttonquail in the hand was amongst the best I could find, but it does look a little bit disgruntled. I knew I wouldn't have enough time to fill in all the detail of the plumage, so instead decided for a change to concentrate on outlining the feathers.

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