What Type Of Bird Is A Quail?

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Any of the around 130 species of small, short-tailed game birds (order Galliformes: Phasianidae and Odontophoridae) that resemble partridges but are typically smaller and less robust are referred to as quail. The 95 species of Old World quail fall into one of the two subfamilies of the Phasianidae, Phasianinae or Perdicinae. The family Odontophoridae is made up of at least 32 species of New World quail, some of which are more closely related to Old World partridges.

Quail favor open terrain and shady borders. The hen lays about 12 roundish eggs in the spring, which the male may assist in incubating. The first summer, the children stay with their parents. Quail primarily consume seeds and berries, although they also consume certain insects, leaves, and roots. Both their eggs and their flesh are prized as delicacies.

Quail from the New World have stronger bills than those from the Old World, and none have leg spurs. About 20 different races of the North American bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) can be found from southern Canada to Guatemala. Its name makes reference to its call. In addition to the bobwhite, North American quail also include the California, or valley, quail (Callipepla californica), and the Gambel’s, or desert, quail (Lophortyx gambelii). Both species have a head plume that curls forward and is greater in the males.

In North America, the scaled, or blue, quail ranges further east (Callipepla squamata). It is the quickest quail on foot, measuring in at a measured 24 kilometres (15 miles) per hour while running. It is grayish with scaly markings and a white-tipped crest. The mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus), which can weigh up to 0.5 kg and is dark and reddish with a long, straight plume, is one of the biggest quails in the New World (about 1 pound). The long-clawed quail of Central America, known as the singing quail (Dactylortyx thoracicus), makes a beautiful call. The 33 cm (13 inch) long tree quail, also known as the long-tailed partridge (Dendrortyx macroura), is a bird that resembles a grouse in size. The only phasianid that is widely dispersed in South America is the wood quail, a huge bird in the genus Odontophorus.

Quail from the Old World are plain, tiny birds that are shorter and stockier than those from the New World. The bill edge is smooth, and several of the legs have spurs. The sole migratory galliform bird is the common quail of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Coturnix coturnix. The blue quail (C. adamsoni), which is barely 13 cm (5 inches) long and is found in eastern Africa, is one of the small quail that are occasionally classed as Excalfactoria rather than Coturnix. Dwarf Perdicula partridges, often known as bush quail, are found in India.


Twelve genera of big birds that are often categorized under the order Galliformes are referred to as quail together.

Old World quail belong to the Phasianidae family, while New World quails belong to the Odontophoridae family. The species known as buttonquail belongs to the Turnicidae family of Charadriiformes and gets its name from the fact that it resembles quails on the surface. The king quail, an Old World quail, is frequently sold as a pet and is often—but incorrectly—referred to as a “button quail” in this trade. For table food or egg consumption, several of the more widespread bigger species are produced on farms. They are also hunted on game farms or in the wild, where they may be released to augment the wild population or spread outside of their native range. The U.S. produced 40 million quail in 2007.

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Small birds known as quails are related to pheasants and partridges. With a compact, stocky body and long, pointed wings, they have a characteristic body shape. There are about 20 different species of quail in the globe, and 70 of them are reared as poultry in home settings.

For more information on quails, see the fact sheet below. Alternatively, you can use our 24-page quail worksheet set at home or in the classroom by downloading it.

Quail Images

In their native range, which spans significant portions of North America, Europe, Asia, and northern Africa, quail are plump, short-necked game birds. They occupy Australia and South America, though less so. For their flesh and eggs, several species have been domesticated and raised on farms, while communities in particular regions frequently hunt wild quail. Quail birds spend the most of their time on the ground because it might be challenging for them to maintain extended flights due to their squat proportions. Birders can quickly recognize any species by the little feathered plumes that form on their heads.

Guide to quail species

A lovely and unique alternative poultry to raise on your homestead is the quail. The next step is to pick what kind of quail to purchase if you have made the decision to raise quail on your homestead.

New World (also known as Odontophoridae) and Old World (which are officially a subfamily of the pheasant family Phasianidae) are the two main families into which quail fall. They are both known as quail because they have many similar physiological traits and uses and are hence distantly related.

Homesteaders are most likely to encounter the Old World Coturnix, or Japanese quail, and the New World northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) (Coturnix japonica). Each of these species has a number of variations that have been developed for particular hues and traits. Quail species can hybridize, but not between variants within the same species.

According to Jacqueline Jacob, poultry extension project manager at the University of Kentucky, the northern bobwhite quail is a completely different species from, say, the California quail. Distinct species cannot cross-breed, although different breeds can.

M. Segrist, proprietor of WoodBottom Quail Farms in Bethel, Ohio, advised comparing the various quail types within a species to the various dog breeds. Regardless of whether they are a poodle or a beagle, they all belong to the same species despite having significantly distinct appearances.

species information for quails

Several genera of medium-sized birds in the family Odontophoridae or the pheasant family Phasianidae are together referred to as quail. You may get detailed information about the quail species here.

Several genera of medium-sized birds in the family Odontophoridae or the pheasant family Phasianidae are together referred to as quail. The Old World species (Europe, Africa, and Asia) are covered in the following. Although they are not closely related, the New World quails (endemic to the Americas) were given that moniker due to similarities in appearance and behavior.

The quails are little, chubby land birds. Although they prefer seeds, they will also consume insects and other tiny animals. They construct a ground nest. They are able to fly for brief periods of time quite quickly. Some species, like the Japanese and Common Quail, migrate and travel great distances in flight.

There are some extensive quail farms. These include Japanese Quail, often referred to as Coturnix Quail, which are primarily raised for their eggs, which are sold all over the world.

The little, plump, and adorable quail

The unmistakable call of the quail is one of the first noises you’ll hear in the morning if you spend the night in the Arizona desert. This ground bird can be found across the country, notably in the southwest. Small and chubby, quails have feathers that range from brown to bluish gray. As they move, a plume bobs on top of their heads.

You can watch mother quails strolling over the grasslands or deserts in the spring and summer as their young follow behind. Sometimes quail are hunted for their meat. They have been nearly hunted to extinction in several areas.

Basic Information

The California Quail is a charming, round bird that resembles a soccer ball. It has a deep gray breast, finely scaled underparts, and an unusual, forward-drooping head plume. The chaparral and other brushy areas of California and the Pacific Northwest are known for the Chi-ca-go call of this bird, which has a harsh accent. California quail are widespread but unassuming, frequently spotted scraping at the ground in big groups or sprinting forward on blurred legs. If they feel threatened, they may flush and hide.

What other birds are related to quail?

Any of the around 130 species of small, short-tailed game birds (order Galliformes) known as quail, which resemble partridges but are typically smaller and less robust,

A quail is it a chicken?

Quail and partridge are members of the Phasianidae family of pheasant-like birds, which also includes pheasants and peacocks. Additionally, some biologists believe that hens and turkeys belong to the same family.

What variety of quail do you consume?

The average lifespan is only 2 to 2 1/2 years. The adult male quail weighs between 100 and 140 g, while the females are slightly heavier, weighing between 120 and 160 g, assuming that the birds have not been exposed to genetic selection for bodyweight.

Do quail make a delicious meal?

Quail do not perch like chickens; instead, they lie on the ground. They also don’t build nests like hens and lay their eggs wherever it is convenient for them. When building or buying a hutch for your quail to live in, keep this in mind. They shouldn’t reside in or lay their eggs in their own feces.

Do quail consume similar food to chickens?

Quail can be maintained in the same flock as chickens, although they do require a separate coop area and aviary. Plan to split the coops used for hens and quail so that the two species don’t mix. Run the quail separately from the chickens.

What is the name of a flock of quail?

Quail eggs, a little and adorable substitute for chicken eggs, are quickly gaining popularity in cuisine. They are small—typically only one-third the size of a conventional chicken egg—but they taste very similar to chicken eggs. They feature rich yellow yolks and cream-colored shells with brown splotches.

A quail can a chicken rear it?

The game bird category includes quail, guinea fowl, pheasant, and squab (or pigeon), which were historically hunted but are now more commonly farm-raised for the foodservice business. The quail, which weighs between three and seven ounces, is the smallest of these. The pheasant, which can weigh up to four pounds, is the biggest.

How are quail eaten?

A quail, on the other hand, will cost you anything from $1 to $5, depending on its age. Quail allows you to start out more affordably and spend less time in the hatching stage. This indicates that you might have a full flock in less than two months for an investment of no more than the price of one chicken.

Does quail have a chicken flavor?

Quail meat contains higher levels of iron and vitamin C than chicken, making it healthier to consume quail than chicken. Chicken lacks vitamin A, although quail does. More nutrients and amino acids are also provided by quail than by chicken flesh.