Quail Coturnix coturnix   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Galliformes Family: Phasianidae
BTO Codes: Q., QUAIL EURING No: 3700
Number in Britain: 540 Males (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: 3 Concern, most not in Europe; Depleted
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant Breeder
Subspecies: coturnix recorded in Britain (of 5 subsp. in the world)
Length: 17 cm Wingspan: 34 cm Weight: M/F: 100 g    
Scientific name from: L.: coturnix=the quail
World Distribution: BREEDS: Europe, n&c Asia, e&s Africa, WINTERS: Mediterranean & Middle East south to c Africa
Habitat: Field, pasture, steppe
Diet: Omnivorous, seeds (from ground) and invertebrates (esp insects)
TitBit: The Quail is a very weak flyer, but each year manages to migrate to North Africa and back. Its "wet-me-lips" call is now only rarely heard during the summer over most of the country  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 540 Males in
    First Record: Recorded in Anglo-Saxon times [Fossil evidence from early Holocene, up to 10,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Species of European Concern, Recovery from Historical Decline,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 RED     1996-2001 RED  
   Races of Concern: coturnix AMBER (European Concern)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
European Population Size:
    Summer: 1.3 to 2.7 million pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(I), WBD(II*), Bern(III), Bonn(II*)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 30 x 23 mm Egg Weight: 8.2 g (of which 9 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 1
Clutch Size: 8 - 13 eggs
Incubation: 17- 20 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 18 - 20days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1/2
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.290       
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: Typical Lifespan: No data
Maximum Recorded Age: Too few birds ringed
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: C*
Wing Length Adult: Insufficient Data
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
Weight Adult: Insufficient Data
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data

Other Names

Common Quail
Gaelic: Gearra-gart Welsh: Sofliar
Danish: Vagtel Dutch: Kwartel
Finnish: Viiriäinen French: Caille des blés
German: Wachtel Hungarian: Fürj
Icelandic: Kornhćna Irish: Gearg
Italian: Quaglia Norwegian: Vaktel
Polish: Przepiórka zwyczajna Portuguese: Codorniz
Spanish: Codorniz común Swedish: Vaktel
Collective Noun:Bevy

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Guyomarc'h et al. 1998 BWP Update 2:27-46
   Johnsgard, P.A. 1988 The Quails, Partridges, and Francolins of the world Oxford University Press [598.544 JON]
   Madge, S. & MacGowan, P. 2002 Pheasants, partridges and grouse Pica Press, Sussex [598.544 MAD]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides