Family New World Quails (Odontophoridae)

Least Concern

Black-eared Wood-quail (Odontophorus melanotis)


French: Tocro à face noire German: Schwarzohrwachtel Spanish: Corcovado orejinegro

Odontophorus melanotis


, 1865,

Tucurrique, Costa Rica


Often considered a race of O. erythrops, but ranges meet on Panama–Colombia border with no apparent evidence of intergradation#R. Birds of Panama formerly awarded a separate race, coloratus, here synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. m. verecundus J. L. Peters, 1929 – Caribbean slope of Honduras.
  • O. m. melanotis Salvin, 1865 – SE Honduras, Nicaragua and Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Panama.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–28 cm; estimated weight of male 340 g, of female 329 g. Very similar to O. erythrops, but lacks white jugular band. Bare ring around eye purple; overall... read more


    Advertising call a far-carrying, ringing duet (sometimes given by solo bird), repeated up to 12... read more


    Tropical and lower subtropical forests at 450–1600 m, locally to sea-level. Found on forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    No precise information available, but appears to scratch in leaf-litter for insects and fallen fruits like other Odontophorus;... read more


    Season probably commences in late dry season in Panama. Probably monogamous. Nest found in excavation between buttresses of tree, and lined... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: possibly Safe. Total population might number fewer than 50,000 birds, and declining. Restricted range; very little... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carroll, J.P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Black-eared Wood-quail (Odontophorus melanotis). 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 20 February 2020).