Blue Quail | Coturnix adansonii

Robert's Birding Information: Blue Quail

The Blue Quail is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Phasianidae bird family group which includes birds such as Francolins, Spurfowls, Quails.

The description for the Blue Quail (Latin name Coturnix adansonii) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Coturnix adansonii can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 202 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 78. You will find a picture of the Blue Quail on page 320.

The Blue Quail is known as a "lifer" in the birding circles of South Africa.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Blue Quail between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Blue Quail has a height of 14 cms and weighs around 47 gms. The head is coloured blue, black while the bill is coloured black. The Coturnix adansonii has a blue coloured throat, yellow legs and a blue, black coloured back. The eyes are red.

The male Coturnix adansonii has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is blue, black.

Eyes are red.

Bill is black.

Legs are yellow.

Throat is blue.

Back is blue, black.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Juvenile  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Blue Quail Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Blue Quail Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Blue Quail is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 3 to 9 eggs and they are coloured brown.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The Blue Quail is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.