Button-quail platelets

To: rcj <>
Subject: Button-quail platelets
From: Peter Woodall <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 08:14:01 +1000
At 11:02 PM 11/06/2002 +1000, you wrote:
In the absence of a sighting of the culprit, I am trying to establish
the identity of the Button-quail which is making platelets at a location
on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. It is likely to be either Painted
or Black-breasted.

I seem to recall previous postings to Birding-aus that suggested that
the maker of these platelets can be identified by the droppings that are
occasionally found in them. I have searched the archives looking for the
keywords 'platelet', 'dropping' and 'Button-quail', but have had no

If anyone can shed any light on this subject, I would be obliged.


Bob James

Hi Bob

Check out the article by P McConnell & R. Hobson "The diet and behaviour of the
Black-breasted Button-quail Turnix melanogaster" in Sunbird (1995) 25: 18-23.

The article contains a figure showing the droppings of Black-breasted and Painted,
and the comment:
BBBQ - always strongly hooked. They included a globular section topped with uric acid. PBQ - usually cylindrical , linear and truncated at both ends with the uric acid content capping
one end.
..... we propose that the shape of the faecal pellets found in the platelets is a diagnostic character
that can be used to determine the presence of these species in the field."



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