The common quail is a small gallinaceous bird that is streaked brown and white. It is a migratory bird that has long wings, and its name derives from its cry.
They feed on insects and seeds on the ground. It is difficult to see and keeps low and hides in crops when flushed.
Quails have a scale-like pattern with the colors of their feathers in either blue, black, brown, cream, or white color. They have long legs, and their beaks are black in color.
Quail Facts for Kids
- They eat seeds, grains, and insects.
- Quails lay up to 20 eggs at a time.
- Quail are hunted by cats, skunks, foxes, snakes, owls, and dogs.
- Typically, quails live alone, but flocks form in the fall.
- Their flight range is limited.
- It is possible to hear quails from a long distance,
- Quails’ eggs are a fine delicacy
- They are fast and can run up to 12 mph when startled.
Habitat and Diet
Quails are ground dwellers and live in woodlands, croplands, and open spaces covered with bushes. They eat grass seeds and berries and can also eat leaves, roots, worms, and some insects.
You can find them in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, China, Central Asia, and North America.
Predators and Threats
Many small mammals eat quail, including raccoons, foxes, squirrels, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, dogs, cats, and owls. Humans also eat quail eggs and quail.
Ecology and Behavior
Quails clean their feathers by bathing in dust and communicating through high-pitched sounds, grunts, and cackles. Quails can be found in flocks during the mating and winter season.
Wild quail species like to roost in dense shrubs or trees. They love shade from dense vegetation and take dust baths to keep their feathers clean.
A quail nest on the ground lay bright colored eggs and hatches after less than a month. Chicks are ready to mate at 2 months old.
Several species of quail have a low survival rate after their first year, and hatching starts in late April and continues to early July for the Northern Bobwhite.
Chicks of most species can fly and leave the nest after two weeks. They live for two to three years.
Of 130 species of quail, about 70 are domesticated. In the 1990s, they were considered an endangered species, but their numbers have rebounded.
The most notable species of wild quail, the Southern Bobwhite, has suffered due to urban sprawl and the destruction of its favorite habitats.
Quail species usually live within a 40-acre radius of where they were born and usually scratch out hidden hollows in the ground near a tree or rock formation.
Quails are the smallest farm bird in the world, weighing only 100 grams. A total of 1.4 billion quails are farmed worldwide in order to produce their meat and their bright eggs.