Dendrortyx barbatus Gould, 1846, Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Monotypic.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Bearded partridge, Bearded tree-quail; French: Colin barbu; German: Bartwachtel; Spanish: Colin barbudo, Chivizcoyo.
This is one of the larger species ranging 9–13 in (22–32 cm) in length and estimated weights of males about 16 oz (459 g) and for females about 14 oz (405 g). This bird has a grayish head with a small crest. Most notable are the bright red eye-ring, bill, and legs. The body has an overall reddish brown coloration with a darker rump and wings.
to 14 fragmented populations ranging from west-central Veracruz to extreme northeast Queretaro, Mexico.
It is found in montane pine-oak, cloud, and older second growth forests. It is also associated with forest edges, shade coffee, and some agricultural land. Most of the forest, especially in Veracruz, Mexico is highly fragmented. The recently discovered population in Queretaro inhabits the most remote and intact forests.
Little is known. They form coveys like most of the other quails and have quite raucous chorus calls in the morning.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Little information available, but is known to feed on a variety of seeds and fruits. Will eat domestic crops such as black beans. Captive birds readily eat beans, corn, bananas, and grapes.
Little is known, but the breeding season is suspected to be April–June. Broods of five have been seen in the wild. Captive birds constructed nests in shallow depressions in the ground and lined them with palms.
Until 1995 this species was considered Critically Endangered. Surveys undertaken in late 1990s resulted in discovery of additional populations in remnant forests. Now downgraded to Vulnerable. However, rapid human growth and encroaching agriculture further threaten this species.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Because of its limited
and population, it is not an important species to humans. However, even in the remaining populations birds are still hunted for sport, and trapped as cage birds and for food. Local farmers have poisoned them when they are found depredating black bean fields.
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