Harlequin Quail | Coturnix delegorguei

Robert's Birding Information: Harlequin Quail

The Harlequin Quail is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Phasianidae bird family group which includes birds such as Francolins, Spurfowls, Quails.

The description for the Harlequin Quail (Latin name Coturnix delegorguei) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Coturnix delegorguei can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 201 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 77. You will find a picture of the Harlequin Quail on page 320.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Harlequin Quail between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Harlequin Quail is known in Afrikaans as Bontkwartel.

The Harlequin Quail has a height of 16 cms and weighs around 70 gms. The head is coloured blackish brown while the bill is coloured black. The Coturnix delegorguei has a white coloured throat, yellow legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are red brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is blackish brown.

Eyes are red brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are yellow.

Throat is white.

Back is brown.

Harlequin Quail Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Harlequin Quail Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Harlequin Quail is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 4 to 8 eggs and they are coloured cream.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Harlequin Quail is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks.