Family New World Quails (Odontophoridae)

Least Concern

Long-tailed Wood-partridge (Dendrortyx macroura)


French: Colin à longue queue German: Langschwanzwachtel Spanish: Colín rabudo
Other common names: Long-tailed Tree-quail

Ortyx macroura

Jardine and Selby

, 1828,

Mexico = Valley of Mexico


Proposed race dilutus (from Pátzcuaro, in Michoacán) is included in nominate. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. m. diversus Friedmann, 1943 – NW Jalisco, in WC Mexico.
  • D. m. striatus Nelson, 1897 – S Jalisco, Michoacán and Guerrero, in WC Mexico.
  • D. m. griseipectus Nelson, 1897 – Pacific slope in México, Distrito Federal and Morelos, in C Mexico.
  • D. m. macroura (Jardine & Selby, 1828) – EC Mexico (México and highlands of Veracruz).
  • D. m. inesperatus A. R. Phillips, 1966 – C Guerrero (Chilpancingo) and S Oaxaca (Sierra de Miahuatlán)#R, in S Mexico.
  • D. m. oaxacae Nelson, 1897 – C & E Oaxaca, in S Mexico.
  • Descriptive notes

    29–39 cm; 350–465 g (unsexed), with male c. 433 g, female 374–446 g. Very long tail. Forehead, sides of head, throat and foreneck black; two white streaks... read more


    Most common vocalization is a series of loud hoarse whistles, repeated rapidly and usually in duets... read more


    Montane oak and pine forest, evergreen forest and cloudforest at 1200–3700 m. Most often in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on flowers, flower buds, small fruits and legume seeds. One crop contained various legumes, especially Desmodium. Scratches... read more


    Nesting season from late Apr, possibly to Dec, but vocalizes most frequently between Feb and Jul, with fledged young observed as early as... read more


    Sedentary. Prefers to run, rather than fly in face of perceived danger.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: Safe. Status generally unknown; total population might number in region of 20,000–200,000 birds; possibly... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carroll, J.P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Long-tailed Wood-partridge (Dendrortyx macroura). 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 26 February 2020).