Family Buttonquails (Turnicidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-legged Buttonquail (Turnix tanki)


French: Turnix indien German: Rotnacken-Laufhühnchen Spanish: Torillo tanki

Turnix tanki


, 1843,



May be closely related to T. maculosus, although this suggestion has not been widely accepted. Proposed race albiventris (from Nicobar Is) generally considered indistinguishable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. t. tanki Blyth, 1843 – Pakistan, India and Nepal; Andaman and Nicobar Is (Nancowry and Car Nicobar groups).
  • T. t. blanfordii Blyth, 1863 – Myanmar through Indochina to E China, breeding N to Korea and extreme SE of Russian Far East (S Amurland and Ussuriland).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–18 cm; male 35–78 g, female 43–113 g; female larger. Fairly large, greyish Turnix; rather pale underparts with deep buff breastband, unbarred... read more


    Female advertising call lasting c. 10–15 seconds, is low-pitched moaning hooting, which... read more


    Grassland, crops (especially rice stubble in some regions), secondary growth on abandoned... read more

    Food and feeding

    Grain, seeds, green shoots and invertebrates (ants, small beetles and grasshoppers); feeds mostly on seeds. Chicks fed mainly on minute... read more


    Season Mar–Nov, occasionally other months and perhaps all year in SE Asia; usually in rainy season Jun–Oct. Solitary breeder;... read more


    Apparently resident most areas. However, nomadic or migratory in dry regions of NW India and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Status and trends very poorly known. Widespread and apparently common over much of range, e.g. in Thailand, Malaysia (no breeding... read more

    Recommended citation

    Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Yellow-legged Buttonquail (Turnix tanki). 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).