AGM 2020

Date posted: 25-Jul-2020

Monday 14th September 2020, 7.30pm at the Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mt Al..

Ferry Resuming July 4th!

Date posted: 01-Jun-2020

Great News!!! We have confirmation Fuller360 ferry service to Tiritiri Matangi wi..

The 2020 Photo Competition Winners

Date posted: 22-May-2020

Here are the winning and commended photos from this year's competition. Congratulations to the photo..

Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s TakahÄ“ Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

2019 Winner Y8-Y13 NIWA Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Abby Haezelwood

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Abby Haezelwood with her winning Science Exhibit on Plastic Beaches at the NIWA Taihoro Nuk..

The Tiritiri Concert

Date posted: 11-Feb-2020

Folk on the Water The 2020 Tiritiri Matangi Conce..

2020 Photo competition now open

Date posted: 15-Jan-2020

This year's photo competition is now open for entries. Please click here (/m..

More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Brown Quail 

Scientific name:

 Coturnix ypsilophora australis



Conservation status:  Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

 Moderately common north of Waikato and Bay of Plenty
 area. Common in Northland


 18cm, 100g


 Not known


 September - January


 Mainly grass, weed, and shrub seeds, some vegetation, flowers and

Brown Quail - photographer: Val SmythemanThe brown quail was introduced to both the North and South Islands of New Zealand, from Australia, around the 1860s. They now only survive in the North Island.  

They have a small round dumpy body, dark eyes and a grey bill. There are subtle differences between the male and female plumage. Both sexes look generally brown and streaky with hints of chestnut, grey, white and black. The female has a streakier appearance, the white lines on her back and wings contrasting with the black and light brown background (see photo below left). The male has more chestnut and grey in his plumage, with a strong chevron pattern on his breast and flanks and and less prominent streaking on wings and back (see photo right). The call is a plaintive 'ker-wee' with a rising inflexion, heard most often in spring.

The brown quail is mainly herbivorous; they favour the seeds of fallen grasses, weeds and shrubs, and supplement this diet with vegetation, flowers and insects. 

Brown Quail - photographer: Simon FordhamBreeding takes place between September and January, laying 7-12 eggs in a ground level nest beneath thick vegetation. The nest itself is a slight depression lined with grasses. The female alone incubates for around 21 days, the young chicks leaving the nest when extremely small and vulnerable.

Brown quail are seen frequently on Tiritiri Matangi, usually in the short grass on the road margins, on the forest floor, or dust-bathing on the tracks. They are reluctant to fly and usually scurry off into the undergrowth when approached too closely, but when they do fly it is with a fast, loud, whirring flight. 

Find out more about the brown quail at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Val Smytheman  © (top right) and Simon Fordham © (bottom left)

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.