Family Buttonquails (Turnicidae)

Least Concern

Red-chested Buttonquail (Turnix pyrrhothorax)


French: Turnix à poitrine rousse German: Rotbrust-Laufhühnchen Spanish: Torillo pechirrufo

Hemipodius pyrrhothorax


, 1841,

Aberdeen, New South Wales, Australia


Has recently been suggested to be conspecific with T. everetti and T. worcesteri, but this idea has received very little support. Proposed races berneyi (NW Australia) and intermedius (Queensland) no longer recognized, as based on individual rather than geographical variation. Monotypic.


N & E Australia.

Descriptive notes

12–16 cm; male 27–46 g, female 31–83 g; female larger. Slightly larger than partially sympatric T. maculosus (which is generally found in wetter... read more


Advertising call (reportedly given by female) a rapidly repeated "oom" note, which... read more


Normally recorded in dense grassland (sometimes at edge floodplains or swamps) and open, grassy,... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds (grasses, Triticum, Panicum, Malvaceae) and insects (cockroaches, ants, flies, larvae). Terrestrial; nocturnal and... read more


Little known. Eggs recorded in Feb–Jul and Sept in N, Sept–Feb in S. Solitary breeder; females sequentially polyandrous. Nest (... read more


Poorly known. Local populations variously resident, erratic or migratory. Apparently a spring... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Formerly hunted for food and sport, and occasionally killed by cats. Crop-nesting birds may lose their clutches due to harvesting.... read more

Recommended citation

Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Red-chested Buttonquail (Turnix pyrrhothorax). 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 23 July 2019).