any of numerous small, round-bodied birds belonging to the family Turnicidae of the order Gruiformes. The 15 species are confined to scrubby grasslands in warm regions of the Old World. Button quail are dull-coloured birds, 13 to 19 centimetres (5 to 7 inches) long, that run crouching and zigzagging through the grass but are capable of weak whirring flight on their short rounded wings. Button quail usually go about singly or in pairs; they may join flocks of true quails.
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