Family New World Quails (Odontophoridae)

Least Concern

Tawny-faced Quail (Rhynchortyx cinctus)


French: Colin ceinturé German: Langbeinwachtel Spanish: Colín carirrufo

Odontophorus cinctus


, 1876,

Veraguas, Panama


Birds of E Panama have been separated as race hypopius, but this not normally accepted; differences between races perceived to be somewhat clinal#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. c. pudibundus J. L. Peters, 1929 – NE Honduras and E Nicaragua.
  • R. c. cinctus (Salvin, 1876) – Costa Rica and Panama.
  • R. c. australis Chapman, 1915 – Pacific coast of Colombia and N Ecuador (Esmeraldas).
  • Descriptive notes

    17–20 cm; male 165 g, unsexed 150 g. Forehead, sides of head, and malar region rufous; black streak through eye to side of neck. Overall coloration grey and brown.... read more


    Song has a hollow and rather tinamou-like or dove-like quality. Typically commences with a series... read more


    Lowland tropical forest at elevations below 1450 m. Most commonly found on forest floor, and roosts... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds, worms and insects recorded. Tends to peck with bill rather than scratch in litter.


    Female with developed egg collected in early Mar, and downy young during late Mar and Apr in Panama. Apparently monogamous. Eggs white,... read more


    Presumably sedentary. Usually found in pairs, but groups of up to eight birds reported. Rarely if... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: Safe. Very little information available; total population may number fewer than 500,000 birds, perhaps declining.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carroll, J.P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Tawny-faced Quail (Rhynchortyx cinctus). 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 19 February 2020).