Small ground-dwelling bird. Male has a bold and beautiful pattern; female is plain brown. Found in habitats with thick ground cover, such as grasslands and crop fields. Shy and inconspicuous; usually seen when flushing from thick cover. Most often detected by voice, a three-part whistle in which a longer first “whit” note is followed by two quicker “whit” notes. Male is distinctive, but female is extremely similar to Common Quail, especially when seen only in flight. If seen well, female Harlequin Quail is darker and more uniform, without a bright white belly or bold streaking on the back. Females also similar to buttonquail, but with duller and less complex patterning. When flushed, Harlequin Quail also has stronger and more direct flight than buttonquail.