Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Painted and Black-breasted Button-quails

I've spent some time in recent days watching Painted Button-quail and Black-breasted Button-quail in the Sunshine Coast-Cooloola region. This fine female Painted Button-quail showed in an area of dry scrub near Imbil in the Sunshine Coast hinterland where I have seen Black-breasted Button-quail in the past. I have found the two species previously in the same habitat in the vicinity of Little Yabba Creek.

The female here is engaged in a threat display, hunching its back and uttering a low purring type of call.

While watching the button-quail, a Brown Quail emerged roadside from the vegetation to feed in the open.

While this Bell Miner put in an appearance. The Bell Miner colony near Imbil is one of the most northerly known for this species.

Soon after I was further north from Imbil at Inskip Point watching Black-breasted Button-quail. The birds have been a regular feature at this site for many years. I saw 4 birds during one morning session (all females, like the one above) and 3 birds during a second morning.

The Black-breasted Button-quail at this site are relatively easy to see due to the open nature of the vegetation. This is essentially revegetated sand-dunes, and quite unlike the dry vine scrubs and rainforest edges that they usually frequent.

Nontheless, the birds can be cryptic. This female was very close to me before I saw her. She was quietly feeding by circling slowly while scratching for seeds in a platelet she had made. The presence of fresh platelets is a good indication of whether the species is present. 


  1. I saw button quails on mount Peregian yesterday, (Emu Mountain). I don't know what kind they were but, they were in two different areas. I have never seen them before, very beautiful.

  2. That's interesting. Could be either species there.