The Rain Quail, also known as the Black-breasted Quail, is a small bird species belonging to the family Phasianidae. These birds are commonly found in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in the plains and low hills. The Rain Quail is named after its peculiar behavior of calling after rainfall.
The Rain Quail is rather small in size, only measuring about 12-14 centimeters in length and weighing around 40-50 grams. These birds have short and rounded wings, a short tail, and a relatively plump but compact body. Rain Quails have a distinctive plumage, with black and white stripes that run across their throat, dark brown head, and a pale yellow or buff body. The female of the species has a slightly duller plumage than the male.
Rain Quails are generally ground-dwelling birds and prefer open grasslands, shrublands, and cultivated fields. They feed on a variety of seeds, grasses, and insects. These birds are generally solitary, but they might occasionally be found in small groups during the breeding season. During this time, males will call out to attract females in a high-pitched whistle that is often heard after rainfall, hence their name.
Rain Quails are mainly active during the day and the peak activity hours are early morning and late afternoon. These birds are known to be secretive and often hide in the grass or undergrowth, making them difficult to spot. They are good runners but can also fly away when threatened.
Overall, Rain Quails are a fascinating and important part of the avian ecosystem in the Indian subcontinent. These birds have unique behaviors and their distinctive calls after rainfall make them easily identifiable. However, due to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and hunting for food, their populations are declining. Conservation efforts are needed to protect this species and ensure their survival for future generations.