Quail

Quail

Scientific name: Coturnix coturnix

Did you know: Quails have a unique survival mechanism – if they consume certain plants, their flesh can become toxic, leading to a condition known as coturnism in predators, including humans!

What Do Quails Look Like? (how to identify them)

Quails are charming mid-sized birds known for their plump bodies and pointed wings. The males display a rich tapestry of brown on their upperparts, adorned with streaks and stripes of beige, black, and white. Their underparts are a warm browny orange. 

Their beaks are black, and their legs are a subtle brown. Measuring 16-18 cm in length, they’re a delightful sight in the wild.

Differences Between Male And Female Quails

Male quails boast a more vivid colouring compared to females, with distinct black, buff, and white streaks across their flanks. Females, while similar in shape and size, have a paler throat and lack the black line found on males. Juveniles mirror the females but are paler with more spotting on their underparts.

What Do Quails Eat?

Quails have a diet primarily consisting of seeds and insects, which they forage for in their natural habitat. This diet contributes to their robust health and energy.

Where Do Quails Live? (inc. migration info)

Quails are a breeding summer visitor to the UK, part of the Phasianidae family. They are mostly found in farmland and grassland habitats. In the UK, quails are elusive, often found in the south and east of England, parts of northern England, and southern Scotland.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Quails)

Quails have a distinctive “pick-per-wick” call, more often heard than seen. This call is a delightful part of the countryside soundscape during their breeding season.

Fun Quail Facts (kid friendly)

  • Quails are the only migrant species of the Phasianidae family in the UK.
  • They can have up to 3 clutches a season, laying 7-13 eggs each time.
  • Quails are experts at camouflage, often hiding their nests amongst vegetation.
  • Despite their small size, quails have a strong presence, with a wingspan of 32-35 cm.
  • They are known for their robust health and energetic behaviour.
  • Quails play a vital role in the ecosystem, helping control insect populations.
  • Their unique calls can often be heard in grass or cereal fields during breeding season.
  • Quails are on the Amber List but are currently in partial recovery.
  • They are part of the covey, flock, or bevy group when in numbers.
  • Despite their elusive nature, quails have a strong presence in UK wildlife.

Facts About The Quail

Diet: Seeds and insects.
Bird Family: Pheasants and partridges
Length: 16-18cm
Wingspan: 32-35cm
Weight: 75-135g
Scientific Name: Coturnix coturnix

The Quail Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

Quail Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile