Animal of the Month
|Himalayan Quail; Illustration by Tomasz Cofta|
What's so special about it?
If you see this bird, you will possibly make news headlines around the world. The last verified sighting of the Himalayan Quail (Ophrysia superciliosa) was in 1876, and some authorities consequently list it as an extinct species. If the bird still exists, it doesn't assist in its own rediscovery; it has always been considered a difficult species to observe, only flying up out of dense grassland when it is in danger of being stood on.
Where can I see one?
As its name suggests, the Himalayan Quail is only known from the Himalayan Ranges, specifically the western section of these mountains in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The location is remote and the Quail's preferred habitat is the isolated mountainside grasslands and scrubs in the area. This inaccessibility fuels hope that somewhere among these majestic pinnacles and valleys, a tiny population of these birds may survive.
Is there anything similar near Brisbane?
|King Quail; Photo by Dick Daniels|
We have two resident quail species in Brisbane. The most common is the Brown Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora), a chubby mottled bird found in most grasslands and swamps. The King Quail (Coturnix chinensis) is rare by comparison, yet more familiar to most people thanks to its prominence in aviaries and on Chinese restaurant menus. The shores of Lake Samsonvale - particularly around the cemetery at the end of Golds Scrub Lane - are a good place to see wild populations of both species.
Himalayan Quail illustration courtesy of Tomasz Cofta at Pixark.
King Quail photograph courtesy of Dick Daniels at Wikipedia.