Family New World Quails (Odontophoridae)

Least Concern

Black-breasted Wood-quail (Odontophorus leucolaemus)


French: Tocro à poitrine noire German: Weißkehlwachtel Spanish: Corcovado pechinegro

Odontophorus leucolaemus


, 1867,

Cordillera de Tolé, Veraguas, Panama


Sometimes considered conspecific with O. atrifrons, O. dialeucos, O. strophium and O. columbianus. Proposed race smithianus, from Dota Mts of Costa Rica, generally considered a melanistic morph. Monotypic.


NE, E & C highlands of Costa Rica S to W Panama. Most records on Caribbean slope.

Descriptive notes

22–25·5 cm; mean 295 g, with males averaging slightly larger than females (c. 300 g versus 286 g). Crown, crest and ear-coverts black; large white patch on... read more


Mostly calls early morning and evening, like other wood-quails. Advertising call a gabbled chorus... read more


Tropical and subtropical forests at 700–1850 m, including second growth and forest borders,... read more

Food and feeding

Virtually no information available: may take plant matter, supplemented with insects.


Nests found in Jun. Probably monogamous. Nests in heavily shaded second growth along bank of stream; nest is hollow in leaf-litter,... read more


Presumably sedentary. Moves about in pairs or groups of up to 15 birds, typically containing 2... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Mace Lande: possibly Safe. Previously considered Near Threatened. Total population might number fewer than 50,000 birds; perhaps declining.... read more

Recommended citation

Carroll, J.P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Black-breasted Wood-quail (Odontophorus leucolaemus). 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 17 February 2020).