Family Buttonquails (Turnicidae)


Buff-breasted Buttonquail (Turnix olivii)


French: Turnix de Robinson German: Ockerbrust-Laufhühnchen Spanish: Torillo de Robinson

Turnix olivii


, 1900,

Cooktown, Queensland, Australia


Specific name sometimes misspelt as olivei, but original spelling is olivii. Closely related to T. varius and T. castanotus; sometimes considered conspecific with former, but differs in bill size and plainer plumage. Proposed race coenensis (from N of range) no longer recognized, as based on individual variation. Monotypic.


Scattered sites in Cape York Peninsula, N Queensland, Australia.

Descriptive notes

18–22 cm; female larger. Large, rufous Turnix with large bill and yellow eyes; distinguished from slightly smaller and shorter-legged T. varius (which... read more


Female advertising call is a booming “ooom-oom-oom”, which becomes gradually louder (... read more


Normally found in wooded grasslands (especially of MelaleucaAcacia, ... read more

Food and feeding

Little known; seeds and insects recorded. Like congeners, swallows coarse sand, presumably to assist mechanical breakdown in gizzard.... read more


Little known. Season Jan–Mar, but male with chicks seen in late Dec. Solitary breeder. Nest a domed structure of grass stems with... read more


None known; southerly expansion of range may occur during wet years, with birds moving S from C... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Population obviously declining (albeit at an unknown rate) and estimated at just 500 individuals within historical range of just 2070 km². No recent records... read more

Recommended citation

Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Buff-breasted Buttonquail (Turnix olivii). 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 14 November 2019).