Brown Quail call

Subject: Brown Quail call
From: "Robert H. McNaught, Anglo-Australian Observatory" <>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 9:31:27 +1100 (EST)
Between 8am and 10:30am Summer Time yesterday (96 Dec 4) I heard Brown Quail
making their "two-note" call.  Brown Quail are common in this general area and
in our "garden".  I have never before noted the Brown Quail call, but yesterday
it was very conspicuous between 8-10am NSW Summer Time (long after sunrise)
at which later time I left for work.  Four birds were calling, separated
from each other by about 100 metres.  Calls were every few seconds and the
birds responded to each other.  After perhaps one minute, the birds stopped,
but several minutes later started up again and this was repeated throughout
this period.  On the way to work, I stopped to check birds some 4 km from
our house and again heard Brown Quail.  The calling behaviour and spacing was
similar to before, but I only heard two birds.  In the previous couple of days,
single Brown Quail had been seen, rather than the usual parties of 10+ seen
in previous months.

Reading about them yesterday, it appears their calls are mostly crepuscular
(morning and evening twilight).  Pedler (1976) notes that calls are often
closer than they seem.  The call I was hearing is the "two-note" call; the
one on the Simpson and Day CD-ROM and the second recording of Brown Quail in
A Field Guide to Aust. Birdsong Vol 2.  A sonogram from this cassette tape
appears in HANZAB Vol 2 p408.  I was particularly interested to note a comment
in HANZAB from Pedler (1975) "Calls repeated a few times every 5-10 mins for
most of the day on 2 days in each of Nov and Jan."  This was clearly what I
was hearing.  I am intrigued as to why this occurs so infrequently and whether
it occurs at widely differing dates in different areas.  Or is it like coral

Pedler (1975) S. Aust. Orn. 27:3-5
Pedler (1976) S. Aust. Orn. 27:159

Rob McNaught

Bugaldie, NSW (31.0S, 149.1E) N edge of Warrumbubgles, S tip of Pilliga

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