Blue quail

The blue quail or African blue quail[2] (Synoicus adansonii) is a species of bird in the family Phasianidae. It is found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Species of bird

Blue quail
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Synoicus
Species:
S. adansonii
Binomial name
Synoicus adansonii

(Verreaux & Verreaux, 1851)
Synonyms
  • Excalfactoria adansonii
  • Coturnix adansonii
  • Coturnix adansoni

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The blue quail was described as Coturnix adansonii by Jules Verreaux and Édouard Verreaux in 1851.[3] It is named after the French naturalist Michel Adanson.[4] The species has had a complex taxonomic history, being classified into the genus Coturnix, then Synoicus, then Excalfactoria. Phylogenetic evidence supports it belonging in an expanded Synoicus that, alongside the king quail (S. chinensis) also includes the Snow Mountains quail (S. monorthonyx) and brown quail (S. ypsilophorus).[5][6] The IOC World Bird List and Handbook of the Birds of the World now both place it in Synoicus. Sometimes considered a subspecies of the king quail, the species is monotypic.[7]

The species is found in Sub-Saharan Africa.[2] It ranges from Sierra Leone to Ethiopia, and south to Zambia, and eastward to Kenya.[8] The habitat of the blue quail excludes dry areas. Inhabiting mainly grassland and fields, the birds typically live near rivers or other bodies of water.[8]

The blue quail is 14–16.5 cm (5.5–6.5 in) long and weighs 43–44 g (1.5–1.6 oz).[8] Its legs are yellow. The colour of the eyes varies from brown in the juvenile to red in the breeding male.[2] The species is sexually dimorphic.[2] The male’s plumage is mostly dark slaty-blue, with rufous patches on its wings.[9] The male has a black beak,[2] a brown head,[8] and a black and white throat.[9] There is a white patch on its breast. Its flight feathers are brown. The forehead, sides of the head and neck, and flanks of the female are orange-buff. Its crown is brown, with black mottles.[2] The female’s beak is brownish. Its underparts are buff, with black bars, and its upperparts have black and rufous mottles and streaks. The juvenile is similar to the female.[2]

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