black-breasted button-quails

To: <>
Subject: black-breasted button-quails
From: "Andrew Stafford" <>
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 17:36:41 +1000
Hi all,
While attempting to show a group of birders Black-breasted Button-quails near Yarraman in SE Qld last weekend, I chanced upon something I'd never seen before in the avian world.
We were unsuccessful in our attempts to find the BQs, although we found many fresh platelets. One of these was completely filled with what I can only presume to be BQ dung.
While finding dung in platelets is hardly unusual (it's often helpful for finding the birds), this seemed to be literally a communal latrine for the birds. There was a small stick next to the platelet which served as the, um, launching pad, and the dung inside was about an inch thick and about four inches across - enough to fill a bowl!
Naturally enough we waited at the spot as some of the dung was quite fresh but we had no luck. Can anyone shed any light on this? I'd never seen or heard of anything like it.
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