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Pedionomus torquatus


Australian endemic. Small 'quail like' ground bird. Females 18cm males smaller at 15cm. Females a fawn/grey-brown with black scale like patterning. Belly lighter coloured. She also has a characteristic black spotted neck and a rufous breast band. Legs, bill and iris are yellow. Smaller male looks similar but without neck and breast markings. Rarely seen flying. Last image shows both female and male.


Classed as endangered but populations are still declining and habitat loss is becoming critical. This pair found in southern New South Wales Riverina. This species is very habitat specific. Although found in grasslands, either to much grass or to sparse and the birds will desert the area.


This species is very prone to droughts. In good years populations can do well (estimates of 2,000 - 5,500 individuals, Baker and Gabb 2002) but in bad years populations can plummet down to an estimated 1,000 birds or less in the main population area. As grasslands are developed for intensive grazing, suitable habitat is being lost at an alarming rate and as more current surveys are conducted it is obvious this little bird is in serious trouble.

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triggsturner 5 years ago

My pleasure. It was a crazy night looking for these guys but one of life's great wildlife experiences! : )

armadeus.4 5 years ago

Amazing spotting. Thank you for sharing Rob :)

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you for your comment Antonio, Mark, Sergio, Mark (Mac), and Arlanda. I really appreciate the support for this spotting.

arlanda 7 years ago

Congratulations triggsturner. outstanding spotting!!

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you PN rangers for this amazing SOTW. I am so pleased this little bird is getting some good exposure.

MacChristiansen 7 years ago

Nice one Bob, Congratulations

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 7 years ago

Congrats on this well deserved SOTW, triggsturner.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

Brilliant spotting. I've not heard of these. Congrats and thanks.

Awesome series triggsturner,congrats on the SOTW and thanks for sharing

DanielePralong 7 years ago

Congratulations again on your excellent work Robert, this very special bird has been voted Spotting of the Week!


triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you so much for the nomination. An honour and fantastic to give these little birds a bit more profile. Thanks again.

AshleyT 7 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you Polilla. Yes a very tough bird to find and to photograph. I feel very lucky to have had this encounter.

Spotted by

NSW, Australia

Spotted on Oct 12, 2016
Submitted on Jan 17, 2017

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