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Quails

Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds in the pheasant family Phasianidae, or in the family Odontophoridae. This article deals with the Old World species in the former family. The New World quails are not closely related, but are named for their similar appearance and behaviour. The quails are small, plump terrestrial birds. They are seed eaters, but will also take insects and similar small prey. They nest on the ground. Features: The Common Quail is a small (17 cm) rotund bird, essentially streaked brown with a white eyestripe, and, in the male, a black chin. As befits its migratory nature, it has long wings, unlike most typically short-winged gamebirds. The Common Quail, Coturnix coturnix, is from the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds. To Fly or Walk? This is a terrestrial species, feeding on seeds and insects on the ground. It is notoriously difficult to see, keeping hidden in crops, and reluctant to fly, preferring to creep away instead. Even when flushed, it keeps low and soon drops back into cover. Often the only indication of its presence is the distinctive "wet-my-lips" repetitive song of the male. Common Quail: Upon attaining an age of 6-8 weeks, this quail breeds on open arable farmland and grassland across most of Europe and Asia, laying 6-18 eggs in a ground nest. The eggs take from 16-18 days to hatch. The Asian Blue Quail: This quail has become very popular to keep and breed and numerous mutations of have been developed. They are quite hardy once they have adjusted to their surroundings and keep the bottom of an aviary spotless. They are hyperactive breeders and reproduce at an incredible rate. The females will lay an egg a day if kept on the proper diet. The cost of purchasing and maintaining them is very little, they will make a soft "crowing" type noise to attract a mate, they take up only a small amount of time to feed and water them, they need only about a two foot long cage to breed successfully, and their eggs are easily collected and incubated. They are charming to observe, and in some cases have been known to become hand-tamed. Trivia: Some cuckoo clocks do not only have a cuckoo indicating the hours, but also a quail indicating the quarters of the hour. Eggs of the Common Quail were flown on-board the Cosmos 1129 biosatellite. Quail Cuisine: The quail family of birds includes edible game species. The Common Quail was previously much favoured in French cooking, but quail for the table are now more likely to be domesticated Japanese Quail. Quail are commonly eaten complete with the bones, since these are easily chewed and the small size of the bird makes it inconvenient to remove them. The eggs of quail are considered a delicacy, and are sometimes used raw in sushi.

Quails
Quails








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