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Crested bobwhite

Colinus cristatus
Photo by Karla León (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
crested bobwhite (en); uru-do-campo (pt); colin huppé (fr)codorniz crestada (es); haubenwachtel (de)

Order Galliformes
Family Odontophoridae

This species is found from Costa Rica to western Colombia and northern Brazil. They are also found on the island of Aruba in the Netherlands Antilles.

These birds are 18-24 cm long and weigh 115-155 g.

Crested bobwhites are mostly found in tall grasslands with a few scattered trees, in dry scrublands or dry savannas. They can also be found along forest edges, in pastures and in shade coffee plantations. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 3.200 m.

They mostly eat the seeds of various plants, namely Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae and Poaceae, but also eat berries other vegetable matter and some invertebrates like ants and termites.

The crested bobwhite breeds in February-October. The nest is built on the ground in a cavity lined with grass stems, where the female lays 8-16 cream-coloured eggs with brown spots. She mostly incubates the eggs alone for 21-23 days and the chicks leave the nest soon after hatching, after which they follow the parents until fledging.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 1 million individuals. The population may be increasing as it benefits from clear-cutting of forests and the development of agriculture.

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