Rufous-fronted wood quail


Rufous-fronted wood quail
Odontophorus erythrops parambae 1897.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Odontophoridae
Genus: Odontophorus
O. erythrops
Binomial name
Odontophorus erythrops
Gould, 1859
Odontophorus erythrops map.svg

The rufous-fronted wood quail (Odontophorus erythrops) is a species of bird in the family Odontophoridae, the New World quail. It is found in Colombia and Ecuador.[2]

Taxonomy and systematics

The rufous-fronted wood quail has at various times been proposed or considered as conspecific with chestnut wood quail (Odonophorus hyperythrus), dark-backed wood quail (O. melanonotus), and rufous-breasted wood quail (O. speciosus). O. melanonotus has also been considered a subspecies of O. erythrops, and at least two other variations have been proposed as subspecies. As of 2021, rufous-fronted wood quail and chestnut wood quail are treated as a superspecies.[3][4]

The rufous-fronted wood quail has two subspecies, the nominate O. e. erythrops and O. e. parambae.[2] To complicate matters, the latter has also been considered to be a separate species.[4]


The rufous-fronted wood quail is 23 to 28 cm (9.1 to 11.0 in) long. Males weigh an estimated 340 g (12 oz) and females an estimated 329 g (11.6 oz). The nominate male has a rufous crown, crest, and face, with a ring of bare purple skin around the eye. The back and rump can be black or olive, with black spots. The breast and belly are dark rufous. The female's face is a darker and duller chestnut and the eye ring is blue-black. The juvenile is similar to the female but differs mostly by having black spots and bars on the belly. O. e. parambae has darker upperparts than the nominate and a white throat.[4]

Distribution and habitat

The nominate subspecies of rufous-fronted wood quail is found in southwestern Ecuador. O. e. parambae is found more widely, on the Pacific slope of western Ecuador and western Colombia and in Colombia's Magdalena Valley. They inhabit primary and secondary humid tropical forest, in Ecuador up to 1,600 m (5,200 ft) but usually only as high as 1,100 m (3,600 ft) in Colombia.[4]



The rufous-fronted wood quail's diet has not been studied, but they have been noted coming to grain at lodge feeders.[4]


The rufous-fronted wood quail's breeding season is believed to span from January to May. No other information about its breeding phenology has been published.[4]


Dickcissel male perched on a metal pole singing, with neck stretched and beak open.

Songs and calls

Listen to rufous-fronted wood quail on xeno-canto

The rufous-fronted wood quail has at least two calls, a "rapidly repeated, ringing duet 'chowita, chowita, chowita'" and "a resonant 'koo-klaw, koo-klaw, koo-klaw'".[4]


The IUCN has assessed the rufous-fronted wood quail as being of Least Concern.[1] The species is found in several protected areas, but outside them "[m]ajor threats include deforestation, and possibly hunting."[4]


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2016). "Rufous-fronted Wood-quail Odontophorus erythrops". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b Gill, F.; Donsker, D.; Rasmussen, P. (July 2021). "IOC World Bird List (v 11.2)". Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  3. ^ Remsen, J. V., Jr., J. I. Areta, E. Bonaccorso, S. Claramunt, A. Jaramillo, D. F. Lane, J. F. Pacheco, M. B. Robbins, F. G. Stiles, and K. J. Zimmer. Version 24 August 2021. A classification of the bird species of South America. American Ornithological Society. retrieved August 24, 2021
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Carroll, J. P., G. M. Kirwan, and P. F. D. Boesman (2020). Rufous-fronted Wood-Quail (Odontophorus erythrops), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved September 11, 2021