On the 6th March I noticed a small brownish bird foraging in my garden. It appeared to be quite tame. It did not fly off when approached but darted off, to take shelter under some bushes. There it started scratching the soil like what chickens love to do, seeking out earthworms, insects and their larvae, etc.
Subaraj Rajathurai managed to get a friend to identify the bird as a male Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica) with an all brown face, most probably an escapee LINK.
These quails are ground feeders and poor fliers. They do not normally fly except when migrating. In many parts of the world these birds are being farmed for eggs, meat and even their droppings… for example in India LINK and of course in Singapore LINK 1 and LINK 2.
YC Wee & Subaraj Rajathurai
18th March 2019
Addendum: About two months later, I was to find out that a friend staying in the same estate but some distance from my house lost a male quail at about the same time. He has less than a dozen quails that he keeps for eggs in his garden.
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