True Quails and Partridges are largely colourful, plump-bodies birds, with short tails. They belong to the family Phasianidae which also includes the pheasants. The Buttonquail is not a true Quail and belongs to a separate family, Tumicidae. It has been included in this series because of its similarity in size, shape, and habits with the true Quails. Quails and Buttonquails are small-sized and inhabit open country while Partridges are larger and inhabit principally the rainforest. They forage on the ground for insects, worms, seeds, and fallen fruit. Most species are very shy and secretive and are therefore seidom seen.
Quails, Partidges and Buttonquails are amongst some of the more attractive and colourful birds of Malaysia´s open country and the rainforest. They are ours to protect and treasure as an important part of our natural heritage.
Coturnix chinensis (Blue-breasted Quail)
This is Malaysia´s only species of true Quail. It inhabits open country such as cultivated areas, dry grassland, and marshy areas in the lowlands. It is usually solitary or in pairs. The male is attractively patterned in blue, black, and chestnut while the female is largely buff-brown with blackish streaks. It generally keeps to thick cover and seldom shows itself unless accidentally stumbled upon, whereupon it takes off with fast whirring wingbeats over short distances before quickly dropping back to thick cover.
Arborophila campbelli (Malaysian Hill-Partridge)
This attractive Partridge is an endemic resident of Peninsular Malaysia, forund nowhere in the world except in montance rainforest above 1000 metres above sea level in the Bintang Range and the Titiwangsa Range. Generally shy, lt may however be sometimes observed in small parties at the hill-stations, foraging along forest paths, gullies, and rubbish tips. Because of its very restricted distribution, destruction and reduction of its existing habitat could make it an endangered species.
Turnix suscitator (Barred Buttonquail)
The Barred Buttonquail is the sole representative of its family in Malaysia. It shares a similar habitat with the Blue-breasted Quail but differs in having all three toes pointing forward with no hind toe. The female of this species is slightly larger and more colourful than the male. It makes with several males, lays the eggs, and leaves the task of egg incubation and rearing of the young to the male. It is usually solitary or in pairs, and is seldom seen because it keeps to thick cover.
Date of Issue 22.01.2001
30sen, 50sen, RM1, MS RM2/RM2, Presentation Pack