A tiny bird which originates in China has been discovered wandering around in a Cotswold garden.
The diminutive, brightly coloured bird was found by a woman in her back garden in Bourton. Realising its rarity she contacted experts at nearby Birdland who identified it as a male Chinese painted quail.
Although the bird is native to south east Asia and parts of Australia, it is also popular with birdkeepers and it is thought it may have escaped from a private aviary.
The quail is now being looked after at Birdland’s finch aviary, where he is settling in well.
Birdland’s Simon Blackwell said: “It’s certainly not the sort of bird that you would expect to find in your garden and the lady who discovered it definitely did the right thing in getting in touch with us.
“These quails are little bigger than your hand and, as a ground bird, are particularly vulnerable to predation by cats or foxes.
“We’ll do our best to try and trace his owner but in the meantime he is making himself at home in one of our aviaries.
“In the wild painted quails only live for around three to six years, however in captivity they can expect to reach 12 or 13 so he’s definitely been handed a lifeline,” he added.
Also known as the king quail, the Chinese painted quail is a member of the pheasant family and is a popular game bird prized for the flavour of its meat.
Females are prodigious breeders, capable of producing an egg a day and regularly having clutches of up to 13 eggs.