Family New World Quails (Odontophoridae)


Dark-backed Wood-quail (Odontophorus melanonotus)


French: Tocro à dos noir German: Schwarzrückenwachtel Spanish: Corcovado dorsioscuro

Odontophorus melanonotus


, 1861,



Sometimes considered conspecific with O. erythrops, O. hyperythrus and O. speciosus. Probably most closely related to O. speciosus. Monotypic.


Mountains of SW Colombia (in Nariño) and NW Ecuador (in Esmeraldas, Carchi, Imbabura, Pichincha and W Cotopaxi).

Descriptive notes

23–28 cm; male c. 322 g, female c. 322 g. Overall colour brownish black; throat and breast reddish chestnut, becoming darker below; brownish-black eyering. Crown and... read more


Advertising call usually in synchronized duet, a fast rollicking “koreewow-koreewow-koreewow...”,... read more


Lower subtropical forest (both primary and secondary) at altitudes of 1100–2200 m. Roosts... read more

Food and feeding

No information available other than it feeds on terrestrial invertebrates and fruit. Generally forages in groups of up ten birds.


Almost no information available, but recently hatched chicks noted in Jun–Aug and Dec and still-dependent young have been observed in... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Mace Lande: possibly Vulnerable. Previously considered Near Threatened. Total population suggested to number 6700–13,000 birds, with trend suspected to be... read more

Recommended citation

Carroll, J.P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Dark-backed Wood-quail (Odontophorus melanonotus). 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 27 February 2020).