The Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix), is a species of pheasant in the Phasianidae family. It was first described by Linnaeus in 1758 as Tetrao coturnix. This is a native Mediterranean species that is found in Europe, North Africa, western Asia and migrates to central Africa east to India in winter. It has been introduced to the United States by hobbyists and bird enthusiasts. Its habitat is grasslands with thick cover.
This is a small (6.75 in) bird, streaked brown with a white eye stripe. The male has a black chin. The wings are long, unlike most typically short-winged game birds. The song of the male common quail is a unique “˜wet-my-lips’. The call is uttered mostly in the mornings and evenings, and sometimes at night.
This terrestrial species feeds on insects and seeds on the ground. It is extremely hard to see as it keeps hidden in crops and does not like to fly, preferring to creep along the ground instead. When flushed out of its hiding spot it will keep low and soon return to the ground for cover. The breeding female lays 6 to 18 eggs in a ground nest which are incubated for 16 to 18 days before hatching.