Quail

Today we will talk about the Quail. They look like sparrows. To know how they look, where they live, and what they eat read below: 

Introduction

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

Scientific Name

Coturnix coturnix 

History

  • They were first used to keep songbirds before being tamed in Japan about the year 1100.
  • They were imported to Europe in the 1950s and are currently raised for their meat and eggs.
  • The smallest domesticated bird, can grow to weigh as little as 100g.

Characteristics

Size 

  • The fully grown is about 6-7 inches in size. 

Color

  • They are either black or brown with white streaks, however, their bellies range in color from light yellow to blueish grey.

Wingspan

  • It has a wingspan of 30cm to 37cm i.e. around 12-14 inches. 

Behavior 

Mating Behavior

  • Males yell loudly to establish territory during the breeding season.
  • Male postures with wings drooped, tail stretched, head bobbed, and may rush at female during courtship.

Feeding Behavior

  • They typically have two feeding times each day.
  • The first feeding phase starts at first light and lasts for several hours, while the second starts in the middle of the day and lasts till roosting.  

Flying Behavior

  • Although they are birds, their flight abilities are not as advanced as those of other birds.
  • They can, however, fly at treetop level for up to a hundred yards, which is sufficient to avoid the majority of predators.

Lifespan

  • A wild quail can live up to four years on occasion, but on average they only have 1.5 years to survive.
  • But if this creature is kept in captivity, it can survive for two to three years.

Food & Diet

  • As omnivores, it will consume both plant-based foods like seeds and leafy green foliage as well as animal-based foods like insects.
  • It will consume cacti fruits and berries when they are present.
  • However, they also love to eat insects. 

Habitat & Range

  • California and the Pacific Northwest have foothill forests, sagebrush plains, oak-dominated woodlands, and chaparral.
  • Semi-arid and brush scrubland environments in the southwest United States and Mexico are among their preferred habitats.
  • They tolerate people and are typically found in urban parks, gardens, and agricultural settings.
  • They spend their entire lives within a home range of roughly 40 acres, necessitating the proximity of all habitat elements (nesting cover, brood habitat, covey headquarters, and food plots).

Nest 

  • To provide cover, the nest is typically a small depression lined with twigs and grasses and frequently set up next to foliage or rocks.
  • Nests are typically between one and seven inches across and deep.

Run 

  • They are known as a quick runner. They prefer to run rather than fly when they are threatened.
  • They can run at rates of more than 15 mph, making them quick runners.

Reproduction

  • Quail gather in coveys from September to April.
  • The birds start their nest-building and egg-laying processes in April, May, and June as the mating season approaches.
  • There are typically 10 to 16 eggs in a clutch, however certain species have been known to produce up to 28 tiny, speckled eggs. In 21 to 23 days, the eggs will hatch.

Eggs

  • It produces at least 300 eggs annually.
  • Quail eggs, a little adorable substitute for chicken eggs are quickly gaining popularity in cuisine.
  • They are little, usually just one-third the size of a regular chicken egg, but they taste astonishingly similar to chicken eggs.
  • They have rich yellow yolks and cream-colored shells with brown specks.

Prey & Predators

  • Due to their small size, quail are preyed upon by a wide variety of animals.
  • Many small mammals, such as raccoons, foxes, squirrels, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, dogs, and cats, like eating them. Rats, weasels, hawks, and owls will also go after quail eggs.
  • They don’t have prey because they are omnivores and prefer green leaves and seeds above other foods. They occasionally catch some insects to feed themselves.

Population 

  • The International Union for the Conservation of Nature rates the conservation status of quail as being of least concern because there are 130 different species of quail worldwide. About 70 of the species have been tamed.
  • However, because their population had decreased to under 100, the California quail was listed as an endangered species in the 1990s.
  • They are no longer thought to be at risk of going extinct because of the recovery in their population.

Conservation & Threats

  • A few wild quails are negatively impacted by habitat degradation and unregulated shooting.
  • The Southern Bobwhite is the most notable, as it has suffered from urban sprawl and the elimination of its preferred habitats.
  • Gamble’s quail is a well-liked game bird, but since there are many of them, neither serious conservation efforts nor severe shooting restrictions exist for this species.

Bobwhite Quail

  • Small and sturdy, bobwhites are birds.
  • They weigh close to a quarter pound and are about eight or nine inches long.
  • Their feathers have a prominent pattern of brown, black, and white in different tones.
  • The white faces of male bobwhites have a c-shaped “mask” around their eyes and necks. 

California Quail

  • They have a tiny head and bill and are plump, short-necked hunting birds.
  • On short, extremely broad wings, they fly. The tail is square and reasonably long.
  • Males have a longer topknot of feathers than females, which projects forward from the forehead in the shape of a comma.

Eating Quail 

  • The meat of this creature 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. You also get more nutrients and amino acids from quail than from chicken meat.

Quail-FAQ

How to cook Quail?

Roasting quail entire in the oven is the simplest and oldest method of preparation. Everybody will require 1 bird. The grill is an excellent way to prepare quail. The entire quail, including the bones, is deep-fried and consumed by the Chinese.

What is a Quail?

They are small, short tailed birds. They are part of the partridge and pheasant families. 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.

Why are the common Quail poisonous?

Because potatoes that have been cooked in quail fat have turned out to be toxic, the toxin is evidently fat-soluble. Though quail are averse to consuming hemlock, coniine from it has been proposed as the source of coturnism. Another candidate for the toxin’s origins is hellebore.

What is the difference between Quail and a Bobwhite?

There is limited range overlap between the Northern Bobwhite and the California Quail. Females lack the white (or buff) throat and stripe over the eye of the bobwhite and are more gray-brown in color with less dappling and spotting. They also have a short head plume.

What diseases do Quail carry?

A Clostridium coli infection results in ulcerative enteritis. It predominantly affects bobwhite quail, but it can also spread to a number of other bird species. Clinical symptoms include hemorrhagic enteritis and abrupt death, however they are milder in hens and other game birds besides quail.