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NATURAL HISTORY

GORGETED WOOD-QUAIL } Odontophorus strophium
FAMILY: Odontophoridae

DESCRIPTION: The gorgeted wood-quail is a small, ground-dwelling bird measuring 10 inches in length. It is primarily dark brown with black spots on its upper parts; the under parts of the bird are reddish-brown with white spotting. The male has a speckled black-and-white face and a white collar on his throat. The female is for the most part similar, except she has a black collar surrounded by white bands on her throat.

HABITAT: This species’ habitat consists of humid subtropical and temperate forests dominated by oak and laurel.

RANGE: The gorgeted wood-quail is endemic to the west slope of the east Andes, in the Magdalena Valley of Colombia. Since 1970 it has only been sighted 10 times in the central Colombian Department of Santander. The current range of the species is only between four and 10.42 square miles.

MIGRATION: Due to its rarity, little is known about this species’ migration habits.

BREEDING: Gorgeted wood-quails are ground-nesting birds, laying their eggs in a small depression lined with vegetation and almost always covered with brush from the forest understory. The bird has two breeding seasons that coincide with Colombia’s rainy seasons, from March through May and September through November. 

LIFE CYCLE: Little is known about this bird’s life cycle or life span.

FEEDING: The gorgeted wood-quail feeds mainly on fruit, seeds, and arthropods.

THREATS: The primary threat to this species is deforestation for the purpose of agriculture, including pastures and, at lower altitudes, coffee, illegal drug cultivation, and plantain and sugarcane plantations. The species is also hunted for food.

POPULATION TREND: The population estimate for this species is fewer than 500 birds.