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Tawny-faced Quail Rhynchortyx cinctus

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  • © Diego Calderón-Franco www.colombiabirding.com

The Tawny-faced Quail is the unique member of a genus with no obvious affinities. This very small, short-tailed species inhabits to lowland forests to approximately 1400 m, and occurs from Honduras south to northwest Ecuador. It is a beautiful but relatively infrequently encountered bird; the male is marked by its distinctive rufous face, gray breast and buff-colored belly, while the female is equally distinctive by virtue of her white postocular streak, brown head and breast, and dark scaling over the flanks and belly. The species’ song is a somewhat mournful-sounding, ventriloquial hooting, which is easily overlooked or ‘passed off’ as a tinamou, and this undoubtedly contributes to the relative lack of sightings. The Tawny-faced Quail is a poorly known species in consequence. It occurs in pairs or small coveys of up to eight birds, and if surprised these may ‘freeze’, rather than fleeing; the species appears to rarely resort to flight.

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Song and calls

© Daniel F Lane

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Tawny-faced Quail (Rhynchortyx cinctus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/tafqua1