True Wild Life | Quail | The quail is a small bird that inhabits woodland and forest areas around the world. There are thought to be more than 15 different species of quail, with each species of quail being found in different parts of the world and all have slightly different appearances depending on how they have adapted to their environment. Although the quail is very small sized bird, the quail belongs to the same bird family as pheasants. Quails range in size depending on the species from the Japanese quail which is around 10cm tall to the larger mountain quail that can grow up to 25 cm tall.
Quails are generally solitary birds and spend most of their time either on their own or in a pair with just one other quail. During the mating season it is common to see large flocks of quails as family groups convoy together in groups of up to 100 quail individuals. Quails do not tend to migrate and therefore spend their lives within the same area. In some parts of the world, quails are kept as poultry birds both for the small amount of meat that they contain and for the quail's brightly coloured eggs. These tiny coloured eggs are seen as a delicacy in some parts of the world and can often be found on menus in posh restaurants.
When quails reach 2 months old, they are then able to mate. Quails tend to breed in more open areas such as farmland and lay their eggs in nests. Quail clutch sizes can vary between one and 12 eggs depending on the species of quail and the baby quail chicks hatch out of their eggs in less than a month. Although quails are omnivorous animals, they tend to have a primarily vegetarian diet eating seeds, wheat, barley, flowers and fruits but they will also eat insects such as worms and grasshoppers. Around 95% of the quail's diet is thought to consist of plant matter.
The quail has many natural predators, mainly due to it's small size. Snakes, raccoons, foxes, squirrels, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, dogs, cats, hawks, owls, rats and weasels are all known to hunt either the quail itself or it's vulnerable eggs. Humans are too predators of the quail but tend to eat those that have been reared in a commercial manner.