Historical information

The spotted quail thrust is a heavily patterned bird native to Australia. It expresses many calls, including a long, very high-pitched "seeeeeep” and a long sequence of doubled whistles, but the main call in inaudible to humans. Due to their heavy camoflague pattern, they are often very difficult to observe. They are often found on the forest floor.

This specimen is part of a collection of almost 200 animal specimens that were originally acquired as skins from various institutions across Australia, including the Australian Museum in Sydney and the National Museum of Victoria (known as Museums Victoria since 1983), as well as individuals such as amateur anthropologist Reynell Eveleigh Johns between 1860-1880. These skins were then mounted by members of the Burke Museum Committee and put-on display in the formal space of the Museum’s original exhibition hall where they continue to be on display. This display of taxidermy mounts initially served to instruct visitors to the Burke Museum of the natural world around them, today it serves as an insight into the collecting habits of the 19th century.


This specimen is part of a significant and rare taxidermy mount collection in the Burke Museum. This collection is scientifically and culturally important for reminding us of how science continues to shape our understanding of the modern world. They demonstrate a capacity to hold evidence of how Australia’s fauna history existed in the past and are potentially important for future environmental research.

This collection continues to be on display in the Museum and has become a key part to interpreting the collecting habits of the 19th century.

Physical description

The spotted quail thrush is characterised by yellow and brown tones with black spots on the flanks. The females (10056) have a yellow ochre-coloured throat patch. This particular quail has lost its tail feathers. This specimen stands upon a wooden platform and has an identification tag tied around its leg.

Inscriptions & markings

43a. / Spotted Ground Thrush / See Catalogue, page 15. /