The Brown Quail - Coturnix ypsilophora - has a mid-brown upper surface with fine black flecks and faint creamy streaks; crown is dusky. Undersurface is buff with black chevrons. Grey around eye; eye is red. Females are coloured as for males with distinctive black blotches on the back. From 18 to 20 centimetres long.
Lives in dense, tall tussock and sedge-land, often in low-lying swampy land, along creeks and around lakes. Found in pairs or loose non-breeding coveys of up to 30 birds.
Usually nests when grasses are tall and seeding; in August-March in the south and April-May in the north. Nest is a small depression in the ground lined with grass and leaves in dense cover under grass or bush, often near water. Lays 7 to 11 (sometimes more) eggs which are creamy, finely freckled dusky brown; rounded-oval in shape about 28 x 23 mm. Incubated by the female for 20 to 22 days.