Brown Quail ID

To: John Leonard <>
Subject: Brown Quail ID
From: Lloyd Nielsen <>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 11:54:32 +1000

John Leonard wrote:

> One observation I have is that Brown Quail when flushed fly away in a direct 
> line,
> Stubble Quail also fly away in a direct line but they rock from side to side 
> as
> they fly.

I am a bit late with a reply but yes, you are right John. I had forgotten that 
of the Stubble Quail - not having seen one for a few years but now that you 
it, it is a good field charcter. I used to see many quail and button-quail when 
family were farming quite a few years ago and noted then Stubble did that 
from side to side as they flew away.

There are a few other interesting flight differences I have noticed between 
two species as well which help to identify them.  The Stubble's wings appear 
longer giving a long tapered-wing appearance while the Brown's wings always look
fairly short - quite noticeable in profile as they fly directly away. The 
rises from the ground to just above cover and zooms quickly away, low, on very 
wings.  The Brown normally rises much higher than all other quail and 
(except for the occasional Chestnut-backed and Buff-breasted which will 
rise up over the tree tops).  It (Brown) mostly  rises to about 2 metres from 
ground, arching up and away which is pretty much diagnostic.   Stubble quail 
fly much further than Brown Quail. Brown usually make a short burst and glide in
flight.  The wings of the Brown have a noticeable downcurved 'bow' in them,
noticeable when they glide, which I am sure is diagnostic.  Another thing about 
Brown is that it often utteres a few chipping notes as it rises - I don't think 
other quail or button-quail does that.  Brown Quail coveys have an interesting
method of moving.  A covey will rise from the grass and fly 30-40 metres and 
drop to
cover again, then after a few minutes do the same thing.  I have seen this 
the day at various times. Anyhow, that's my observations.

I have seen what Mike mentioned re the markings.  I had a party of 12 Brown 
at intervals about the house and was able to watch them from inside.  The 
was remarkable and one or two of them could easily be mistaken for a Stubble at 
quick glance.

Lloyd Nielsen
Mt Molloy, Nth Qld

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