Family Quail-thrushes and Jewel-babblers (Cinclosomatidae)

Least Concern

Western Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma marginatum)


French: Cinclosome à dos fauve German: Rötelflankenflöter Spanish: Zordala occidental
Other common names: Mulga Quail-thrush

Cinclosoma marginatum


, 1883,

north-western Australia (erroneously “corrected” to north-western New South Wales)


Until very recently considered conspecific with C. castaneothorax, but molecular evidence suggests that it is closer to C. alisteri and C. cinnamomeum#R, and (although voice very similar) differs in its shorter wing (on published data#R for males effect size −1.25, score 1); longer tail (effect size 1.39, score 1); grey-brown confined to crown, not covering mantle (2); upperparts bright rufous vs dull rufous (2); breastband in male mid-rufous, narrow and white-margined vs deep rufous, broader and with no white above or below (2); black lower breast patch in male broader (ns[1]); and wing-coverts in both sexes tipped coarsely vs finely white (ns[1]); further differences exist between females. See also C. castanotum. Monotypic.


C Western Australia, marginally to SW Northern Territory and extreme W South Australia.

Descriptive notes

c. 21–25 cm; c. 65 g. Male has crown dark grey, rest of head and throat mostly black or blackish, with contrasting narrow white supercilium and broad white submoustachial... read more


Song is a series of 5–11 short piping whistles gradually increasing in pace and at rather constant... read more


Dry woodland scrub with low understorey, on stony ground in semi-arid and arid zones.

Food and feeding

Arthropods and seeds, mostly 1–2 mm long, but some items up to 7 mm. Forages on ground, walking slowly on meandering course, pecking with... read more


Clutches started Jan–Sept; may attempt more than one brood if conditions permit, but does not breed at all during drought. Possible co-... read more


No evidence of seasonal movements. Some local movement in association with rainfall.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common over most of its range. Both habitat modification and overgrazing are detrimental to this species.

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N. (2019). Western Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma marginatum). 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 March 2019).