Common Quail

Common Quail

European quail, Common quail, European quail

2 languages
Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Coturnix coturnix
Population size
15-35 mln
Life Span
2-5 yrs
Top speed
60 km/h
Weight
70-140 g
Length
16-18 cm
Wingspan
32-35 cm

The common quail (Coturnix coturnix ), or European quail, is a small ground-nesting game bird in the pheasant family Phasianidae. It is mainly migratory, breeding in the western Palearctic and wintering in Africa and southern India.

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With its characteristic call of three repeated chirps (repeated three times in quick succession), this species of quail is more often heard than seen. It is widespread in Europe and North Africa, and is categorised by the IUCN as "least concern". It should not be confused with the Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica, native to Asia, which, although visually similar, has a call that is very distinct from that of the common quail. Like the Japanese quail, common quails are sometimes kept as poultry.

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Di

Diurnal

He

Herbivore

Gr

Granivore

Om

Omnivore

Te

Terrestrial

Pr

Precocial

Te

Territorial

Ge

Generally solitary

Mi

Migrating

C

starts with

Appearance

The Common quail is a small ground-nesting game bird. It is streaked brown with a white eyestripe, and, in the male, a white chin. It has long wings and the female is generally slightly heavier than the male.

Distribution

Geography

Common quail breed in Europe, western Asia, and northwest Africa. Unlike most game birds, they are strongly migratory and winter in Africa and southern India. They inhabit grasslands and farmlands preferring areas with dense, tall vegetation.

Common Quail habitat map

Climate zones

Common Quail habitat map
Common Quail
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Habits and Lifestyle

Common quail are generally solitary birds; they spend most of their time on the ground and are more often heard than seen. They typically remain hidden in crops, and reluctant to fly, preferring to creep away instead. Even when flushed, they keep low and soon drop back into cover. Often the only indication of their presence is the distinctive "wet-my-lips" repetitive song of the male. This call is uttered mostly in the mornings, evenings, and sometimes at night.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

Common quail mainly have a herbivorous (granivorous) diet feeding on various seeds, grain, and weeds. However, they will also eat small insects such as beetles, bugs, ants, worms, and grasshoppers.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
mid-May to late August in northern Europe
INCUBATION PERIOD
17-20 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
30-50 days
FEMALE NAME
hen
MALE NAME
cock
BABY NAME
chick
web.animal_clutch_size
8-13 eggs

Males generally arrive in the breeding area before the females. In northern Europe, laying begins from the middle of May, and with repeat, laying can continue to the end of August. The female forms a shallow scrape in the ground 7-13.5 cm (2.8-5.3 in) in diameter which is sparsely lined with vegetation. The clutch consists of between 8 and 13 eggs which have an off-white to creamy yellow background with dark brown spots or blotches. The eggs are incubated by the female alone beginning after all the eggs are laid and hatch synchronously after 17-20 days. The chicks are precocial and shortly after hatching leave the nest and can feed themselves. They are cared for by the female who broods them while they are small. The young fledge around 19 days of age but stay in the family group for 30-50 days. They generally first breed when one year old and only have a single brood.

Population

Population threats

The main threats to Common quail include habitat loss, hunting, trapping, climate change, drought, and in some areas hybridization with Japanese quail.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Common quail is 15,000,000-35,000,000 mature individuals. The European population consists of 3,320,000-6,720,000 calling or lekking males, which equates to 6,630,000-13,400,000 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.

Ecological niche

These small birds play an important role in the ecosystem they live in. Feeding upon various seeds and grain, Common quail have an impact on the plants within their native range.

References

1. Common Quail on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_quail
2. Common Quail on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22678944/131904485
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/704656

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