Common Quail | Coturnix coturnix

Robert's Birding Information: Common Quail

The Common 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 Common Quail (Latin name Coturnix coturnix) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Coturnix coturnix can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 200 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 75. You will find a picture of the Common Quail on page 320.

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 Common Quail between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Common Quail is known in Afrikaans as Afrikaanse Kwartel.

The Common Quail has a height of 18 cms and weighs around 100 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured blackish brown. The Coturnix coturnix has a brown, white coloured throat, yellowish pink legs and a black, white coloured back. The eyes are red brown.

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 brown.

Eyes are red brown.

Bill is blackish brown.

Legs are yellowish pink.

Throat is brown, white.

Back is black, white.

Common Quail Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Common Quail is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage.

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

The Coturnix coturnix forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Common Quail Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

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.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Common Quail is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks.