Photographs by Tan Heok Hui

King Quail (Synoicus chinensis) road kill at Bedok Reservoir Park

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Bedok Reservoir Park, carpark A; 26 March 2016, around 1210 hrs.

Observation: An individual of about 14 cm head and body length was found squashed on the ground, most likely by a motor vehicle. It may have been killed earlier in the morning as the observers found the carcass to be odourless and they did not see flies on it (Fig. 1). When the carcass was flipped over, there were ants on the areas with exposed flesh (Fig. 2).

Remarks: The featured carcass is an adult male based on the bluish-grey plumage with alternating black and white streaks on the head. Females are a cryptic brown without distinct colour pattern. In Singapore, the King Quail is an uncommon resident, reported mainly from open grasslands in areas such as Lorong Halus, Punggol and along the Changi coast (Singapore Birds Project, 2016; Yong et al., 2016; as Excalfactoria chinensis).


  • Singapore Birds Project, 2016. King Quail. Accessed on 26 March 2016.
  • Yong, D. L., K. C. Lim & T. K. Lee, 2016. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Singapore. 2nd edition. John Beaufoy Publishing, 176 pp.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2015: 56