Family New World Quails (Odontophoridae)

Least Concern

Buffy-crowned Wood-partridge (Dendrortyx leucophrys)


French: Colin à sourcils blancs German: Guatemalawachtel Spanish: Colín cariclaro
Other common names: Buffy-crowned Tree-quail

Ortyx leucophrys


, 1844,

Cobán, Vera Paz, Guatemala


Race hypospodius has been considered a separate species, but differences from nominate not particularly strong. Geographical variation largely clinal, plumage becoming darker from N to S#R; birds of Honduras and Nicaragua formerly awarded separate race, nicaraguae, but now included in nominate leucophrys. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. l. leucophrys (Gould, 1844) – S Mexico (Chiapas), Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and NW Nicaragua.
  • D. l. hypospodius Salvin, 1896 – C Costa Rica.
  • Descriptive notes

    28–35·5 cm; estimated weight of male 397 g, of female 340 g. Forecrown, supercilium, chin and throat white; ear-coverts black. Overall coloration chestnut and... read more


    Much like those of its two congeners. Most common vocalization is a rapid series of loud hoarse... read more


    Favours humid to semi-humid, montane oak and pine forest, evergreen and cloudforests at 300–... read more

    Food and feeding

    Poorly known, like congenerics. Seeds, flower buds and small fruits, including drupes, as well as invertebrates. Has been observed... read more


    Recorded in May in Guatemala, Feb–Jun in El Salvador; chicks half-grown during Apr–Jul in Honduras and El Salvador, or Jun... read more


    Apparently sedentary. Moves about in coveys of 4–6 birds (probably family groups), but up to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: Safe. Virtually nothing known; total population might number in region of 20,000–200,000 birds; possibly decreasing... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carroll, J.P., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & de Juana, E. (2020). Buffy-crowned Wood-partridge (Dendrortyx leucophrys). 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 25 February 2020).