† See also Pheasant,
Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds in the Pheasant family Phasianidae. This article deals with the Old World quail species. The New World quails are not closely related, but are named for their similar appearance and behaviour.
The Old World buttonquails are also in a different family Turnicidae, and are completely unrelated to the true quails.
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.
Wild quail were once a popular game bird.
The quail species are:
- Genus Coturnix
- Japanese Quail , Coturnix japonica
- Common Quail, Coturnix coturnix
- Harlequin Quail , Coturnix delegorguei
- Rain Quail , Coturnix coromandelica
- Stubble Quail , Coturnix pectoralis
- Brown Quail , Coturnix ypsilophora
- Asian Blue Quail or Chinese Painted Quail, Coturnix chinensis
- African Blue Quail , Coturnix adansonii
- Genus Anurophasis
- Snow Mountain Quail , Anurophasis monorthonyx
- Genus Perdicula , the bush quails
- Jungle Bush Quail , Perdicula asiatica
- Rock Bush Quail , Perdicula argoondah
- Painted Bush Quail , Perdicula erythrorhyncha
- Manipur Bush Quail , Perdicula manipurensis
- Genus Ophrysia
- Himalayan Quail , Ophrysia superciliosa
Quails in cookery
Quails are an 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.
The eggs of the quail are considered a delicacy, and are sometimes used raw in sushi.