Family Buttonquails (Turnicidae)

Least Concern

Little Buttonquail (Turnix velox)


French: Petit Turnix German: Zwerglaufhühnchen Spanish: Torillo veloz
Other common names: Australian Little Buttonquail

Hemipodius velox


, 1841,

Yarrundi, New South Wales, Australia


Proposed races picturatus and vinotinctus (NW Australia) and leucogaster (C Australia) no longer recognized, as all based on individual variation. Monotypic.


Continental Australia, mainly inland, and absent from NE Western Australia (Kimberleys), N Northern Territory (Arnhem Land) and N Queensland (Cape York Peninsula).

Descriptive notes

12–16 cm; male 28–44 g, ­female 39–64 g; female larger. Occurs sympatrically with several other Turnix, including T. pyrrhothorax... read more


Advertising call is a loud, low-pitched booming, rendered “oo-ah” or “coo-oo... read more


Dry Danthonia and Stipa (Poaceae) grassland, grassy Acacia (Fabaceae)... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly grass seeds, including grain (Triticum, Triodia, Danthonia, Chloris, Eragrostis, ... read more


Poorly known. Sept–Mar in S & E, Mar–Dec in wet years (usually Aug–Nov) in W and Jan–May in Northern Territory... read more


Poorly known. Resident, migratory and dispersive populations apparently exist; erratic or irruptive... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally uncommon to common with densities of 0·01–0·41 birds/ha recorded, but may be locally abundant during... read more

Recommended citation

Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Little Buttonquail (Turnix velox). 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 18 November 2019).