Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

African Blue Quail (Synoicus adansonii)


French: Caille bleue German: Adansonwachtel Spanish: Codorniz africana
Other common names: Blue Quail

Coturnix Adansonii

J. P. Verreaux and J. B. É. Verreaux

, 1851,



Formerly placed in genus Excalfactoria or Coturnix. Sometimes considered a race of S. chinensis; differs in deep grey-blue central breast to belly with chestnut flanks vs chestnut central breast and belly with paler grey-blue flanks (3); extensive chestnut in wings vs little chestnut (3); significantly longer-winged (no measurements taken but evidently 2); female more strongly and extensively barred below (ns[1]); female with less obvious clear pale supercilium (2). Monotypic.


Sub-Saharan Africa from Sierra Leone and S Mali E to NW Kenya, and S to Angola, Zimbabwe, Swaziland#R and E South Africa (S as far as KwaZulu-Natal); absent from W & WC African forests and C Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

12–15 cm; male 33–48 g, female (one) 44 g. Male differs from that of wholly allopatric S. chinensis by chestnut wing-patch and flanks, and slaty belly.... read more


Considered to be very similar to the vocalizations of S. chinensis and male’s piping... read more


Dense grassy habitats, such as thick grass along watercourses and swamps, rice fields and borders... read more

Food and feeding

Grass and weed seeds, green plant matter, termites and other insects.


Season is during or soon after rains: Nov and May–Jun in Cameroon; May–Jun in Uganda; Oct–Nov and May–Jul in Kenya... read more


Poorly known, but local movements reported in some areas, especially in W Africa, where apparently... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. Few detailed data available. Very widespread, but considered to be local and uncommon in most areas, e.g. just... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). African Blue Quail (Synoicus adansonii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 December 2019).