Saturday, 6 July 2013

Rain quail

Coturnix coromandelica

Photo by Jugal Tiwari (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
rain quail (en); codurniz-da-chuva (pt); caille nattée (fr); codorniz coromandélica (es); regenwachtel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae

Range:
This species is found throughout India and marginally into Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and also into Myanmar and southern Thailand.

Size:
These birds are 15-17 cm long and weigh 64-71 g.

Habitat:
The rain quail is mostly found in grasslands and scrublands, also using arable land. They are known to move between different parts of their range in response to monsoon rains, avoiding the areas with heavier rains and moving into other areas that become more attractive with the rains.

Diet:
They eat the seeds of various grasses and seeds, as well as small insects and insect larvae.

Breeding:
Rain quails breed in March-October, the exact period varying between different areas in accordance with monsoon patterns. They are monogamous with strong pair bonds. The nest is a small hollow on the ground, lined with grasses or sometimes without any lining, often hidden among low scrubs. The female lays 4-9 yellowish or rust coloured eggs with yellow streaks, which are incubated for 16-19 days. The chicks are precocial, leaving the nest soon after hatching, but remain with their parents for up to 8 months.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is apparently widespread and generally common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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