Common Quail

Introduction: The common quail (Coturnix coturnix) are usually found singly or in pairs in a semi-dry perennial grassland and herbage habitat associated with patches of shorter grass and lightly wooded savannah. A shy and retiring species they remain under cover and are seldom seen except for when they are disturbed. They will then fly fast and low into cover. Common quails roost at night in coveys on the ground. Coturnix is the Latin word for quail.

Distribution: Scattered populations exist around the country including Rosh Pinah, Windhoek, Etosha National Park, Marienfluss Valley, Tsumkwe and areas of the Caprivi.

Diet: Late afternoon and early evening are the preferred foraging times for the common quail who use their feet and beaks to scratch and scrape the ground for fallen seeds of grass, weeds and grain. Buds, bulbs, flowers and leaves are also eaten

Description: The common quail is a small gamebird without the characteristic spurs. Male and females differ in plumage colouration. Their wings are short and rounded, the tail is short. They are usually found in open, dry to moist grassy or agricultural land and are reluctant fliers. Common quails are seen in family groups or flocks. Calls are high-pitched.

Breeding: Padded nests of rootlets and grass are lined with extra vegetation matter during the incubation period. Usually 5 to 7 eggs are laid in January, May or July.

Size: 16 to 18cm.

Weight: 90g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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