Spotted quailthrush

Cinclosoma punctatum

TAXONOMY

Turdus punctatus Shaw, 1794, New South Wales, Australia. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Spotted ground-bird; French: Cinclosome pointillé; German: Fleckenfloter; Spanish: Tordo Cordoniz Manchada.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

10.2-11 in (26-28 cm); 2.4-3.1 oz (67-87 g). Mottled plumage of white, buff, rufous, brown, and black. Light brown head with white brow stripe. Throat black with white patch; pinkish breast.

DISTRIBUTION

C. p. punctatum: S. E. Australia; C. p. dovei: Tasmania; C. p. anachoreta: Mount Lofty Ranges, south central Australia.

HABITAT

Eucalypt forest with littered open floor, particularly on rocky hillsides.

BEHAVIOR

Terrestrial, sedentary, and rather shy. When startled, takes off from ground like a quail; upon landing it runs away or freezes, relying on its coloration to conceal it. Vocalizations include a repeated, double-note song and a high thin contact call, inaudible to many people.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Eats insects and other invertebrates, and occasionally small vertebrates and seeds. It searches for prey on the ground while walking in a slow, meandering path.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Late July-August to December. The female builds the nest, a cup of dry vegetation, which is placed in a depression in the ground near the base of a tree, shrub, rock, or clump of grass. She incubates the two spotted eggs. The male assists her in feeding the chicks during and after the 19-day fledging period. One to three broods may be raised in a season.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Generally sparse but locally common. The population in the Mt. Lofty Ranges, South Australia, is Critically Endangered, if not already extinct. This has been attributed to habitat clearance and fragmentation.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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