Re Black-breasted Button-quail in Canberra

Subject: Re Black-breasted Button-quail in Canberra
Date: Wed, 04 Sep 96 16:16:58 -0400
G'day All

There appear to be three possibilities with this bird.

1. Misidentification
2. An escapee
3. A genuine rarity

1. It is quite possible the bird was a misidentified Painted B-q.  However
the observer apparently is quite familiar with this species and had
excellent views of the bird.  Hopefully others will see it and confirm the
id.  (I love a new tick as much as anyone).

2. Do aviculturalists keep button quail?  A few years back I was stunned
to see my first Little B-q wandering around on the concrete path outside
my kitchen window (urban Hamilton, Victoria).  The bird was very tame and
stayed for a couple of weeks, then disappeared. I suspected it was an
escapee but my enquiries with local aviculturalists convinced me that
no-one was missing such a bird and no-one knew of any being kept in the
town.  I saw a pair of LB-q's in the district a week or so after my bird
disappeared so I assume my bird was not an escapee.

3. Given the weather on the east coast last weekend it is just possible
the bird is a wild one.  Its apparent exhaustion when seen could indicate
it had had a rough couple of days but this could also be explained by its
inability to cope with the world outside its cage - and Saturday night in
Canberra was rather wild.

No opinions, no conclusions.  I'm just not so easily convinced by the
escapee theory.  If you do see the bird Phil let us know.


Steve Clark 

Stephen Clark
CSIRO Division of Plant Industry
Canberra 2601 Australia
Phone 06 246 5417
Fax   06 246 5399


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