Quail, Buttonquail and Plains-wanderer in Australia and New Zealand

June 2023
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    7th June 2023
  • ISBN 9781486312597
  • Language English
  • Pages 200 pp.
  • Size 11" x 9"
  • Images 28 color paintings, 17 color photos, 15 maps, 4 b&w photos, 5 illustrations

Although not closely related, quail, buttonquail and the Plains-wanderer have much in common. Quail, Buttonquail and Plains-wanderer in Australia and New Zealand examines 14 species of these small, secretive ground-dwelling birds, including Old World and New World quail, the endangered Buff-breasted Buttonquail, the elusive Plains-wanderer and the extinct New Zealand Quail.

Joseph Forshaw presents a comprehensive review of recent studies for these often hard to observe birds. Detailed species descriptions include key features, habitat, status, diet and breeding, along with information on eggs, calls, and distribution. Each species is fully illustrated with exquisite color identification plates by renowned wildlife artist Frank Knight. This is an essential reference for anyone fascinated by these elusive birds.


  • A comprehensive account of six species of quail, seven species of buttonquail and the quail-like Plains-wanderer in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Includes the extinct New Zealand Quail.
  • Features detailed species descriptions, including habitats, breeding, subspecies, distribution, historical notes, eggs, diet and status.
  • All species are illustrated in fine color plates by Frank Knight, one of Australia’s leading wildlife artists.


Order Galliformes
Family Odontophoridae
Subfamily Odontophorinae
Genus Callipepla Wagler
Genus Colinus Goldfuss

Family Phasianidae
Subfamily Phasianinae
Tribe Coturnicini
Genus Coturnix Bonnaterre
Genus Synoicus Gould

Order Charadriiformes
Family Turnicidae
Genus Turnix Bonnaterre

Family Pedionomidae
Genus Pedionomus Gould

References Cited
Index of Common Names
Index of Scientific Names

Joseph Forshaw

Joseph M. Forshaw AM is a Research Associate in the Ornithology Section at the Australian Museum and the author of a number of award-winning natural history books. In 2015, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to ornithology and wildlife conservation. His previous books include Vanished and Vanishing Parrots (2017) and Pigeons and Doves in Australia (2015).

Frank Knight

Frank Knight has been a wildlife illustrator for more than 30 years, producing illustrations for scientific papers, books, and lectures. His work appears in Field Guide to the Frogs of Australia (2020), with text by Michael Tyler, and in Vanished and Vanishing Parrots (2017) by Joseph Forshaw.

birdlife; aviculture; endangered; Australia; New Zealand