The European Quail or aften called Common Quail is a migratory bird and travels all over Europe, Africa and Southern parts of Asia.
Some individuals seem like they’re just on the move all year round but even the ones that versify at home do not leave at the same time when the migration time comes. Some of them has already arrived in Egypt at the end of August while at the same time in the middle of Europe we can still see quail families running around with fluffy chicks.
As their summer residence European quail normally choose flat, plain, lowland, grain-growing regions. They will avoid Mountains and don’t even like hilly countryside much, and you won’t see them anywhere near swamps, moorlands or marshes either.
It has been observed that their residence normally reaches as far in elevation as the barley fields do. For example around Dagestan (Russia – North Caucasus region) you can see Common Quail running around even at 7800 feet (2400 meters) above sea level. In July, near Jibiani, around the source of river Jugur at 7200 feet (2200 meters) above sea level, near the glacier, despite to cold nights you can still hear the calling sound of the male in the early hours of mornings.
When they arrive they typically invade wheat and rye fields and you will only see them elsewhere when they’re in transit.
Feed and drink
They feed on various seeds, small green leaves, buds and about an equal amount of insects. To aid their digestion they take grits just as well as chicken or geese for example. European Quail don’t really have a specific drinking ground, the dewdrops collected on the leaves at dawn are enough to ease their thirst.
They normally get broody twice in the summer and sit on their 7 – 8 eggs for 17-18days before they hatch. The quail chicks will leave the nest straight after hatching.
There are 5 known supspecies of the European Quail:
1 . Coturnix coturnix coturnix
2 . Coturnix coturnix africana
3 . Coturnix coturnix conturbans
4 . Coturnix coturnix erlangeri
5 . Coturnix coturnix inopinata
Source: Main picture – Warsaw Zoo, Poland