Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Critically Endangered

Himalayan Quail (Ophrysia superciliosa)


French: Ophrysie de l’Himalaya German: Himalajawachtel Spanish: Perdicilla himalaya

Rollulus superciliosus

J. E. Gray

, 1846,

India = Mussoorie




N India: known only from areas around Mussoorie, Dehra Dun and Naini Tal, in Uttar Pradesh. Possibly extinct; several unconfirmed recent sightings in Suwakholi and around Naini Tal#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 25 cm. Unmistakable, especially male. Long tail and stiff, bristle-like feathers on forehead; small white patches in front of and behind eye; long, lanceolate body... read more


Only information is more or less anecdotal: was reputed to give shrill whistle in alarm, and low,... read more


Occurs, or occurred, on steep hillsides, especially S-facing slopes, in patches of long grass and... read more

Food and feeding

Grass seeds recorded; probably also berries (speculated to include Principea utilis, Lonicera angustifolia, Berberis... read more


Nothing known beyond fact that two specimens collected in Nov were juveniles.


No reliable information available. Most recent, detailed review of our knowledge, suggested the... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species certainly found only within Western Himalaya Endemic Bird Area, although suitable habitat in the 19th century was probably... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Himalayan Quail (Ophrysia superciliosa). 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 10 December 2019).