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Painted Buttonquail - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Stephen Powell
Stawell, Victoria, Australia, September 2015
Turnix varius


Photo by Hans&Judy Beste
Victoria, Australia

17–23 cm (6¾-9 in)

  • Reddish-brown overall plumage
  • Pale spots on forehead and breast
  • Red eye
  • Chestnut shoulders

Female is brighter than the male.
Juvenile is smaller and grey, more mottled, pale eyes.


Map-Painted Button-Quail.jpg
Australia, Tasmania and New Caledonia (not shown on map)


Forms a superspecies with Buff-breasted Buttonquail and Chestnut-backed Buttonquail.

The scientific name was formerly spelled varia.


There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • T. v. novaecaledoniae - New Caledonia
  • T. v. scintillans - Houtman Abrolhos Islands (off sw Australia)
  • T. v. varius - SW, e and se Australia and Tasmania


Scrub, grassy woodland, open banksia, eucalypt and acacia forests, grassy clearings in dense forest, and heath.



There is not a lot known, however, grass seeds, insects and fruits are know to be consumed.


Polyandrous. The clutch consists of 3-4 eggs which are incubated by the male for 13-14 days. They are fed by the male and reach adulthood in 23 days.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Nov 2017)
  3. Birdata.com.au, Raw Data for Map
  4. Wikipedia
  5. BF member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links