Barred Buttonquail – female “bluffing behaviour”

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“I accidently surprised this female Barred Buttonquail (Turnix suscitator atrogularis). She responded by turning, looking straight at me with a piercing look, fluffing up the plumage as well as bowing down repeatedly, lifting up the back. This went on for about 30-40 seconds. Although I was near the bird, I was imaging her through some undergrowth so videos were difficult.

“The last time I posted this behaviour Hans Peeters was kind enough to comment: ‘What you describe is classic bluffing behaviour observed in many ground-nesting birds, especially galliform species. The female, which has a brood of fledglings, not seen here, threatens an attack directed at a perceived predator.’

“In both instances I have not seen the young. But in both occasions she was separated from her male partner by my presence. I wonder if this behaviour is also seen when responding to a perceived threat to her partner?”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
12th April 2015

Location: Tambun Interior, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Secondary growth near limestone hills, vegetable and fish farms

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