Top 10 Facts About Quails
1. There are approximately 15 different species of quail around the world, with 6 of them in residence across the US and the ground-dwelling Bobwhite being the most common amongst that particular group. The most hunted species of quail besides Bobwhite quail are California Quail, Mountain Quail, Gambel’s Quail and Scaled Quail.
3. Foxes, raccoons, cats, dogs, owls, snakes and skunks are the main predators of the quail, not forgetting, of course, the hunter.
4. The quail can reach flight speeds of up to 40mph, but can only fly short distances due to the risk of raising their own temperature too high, which can cause stress and, in some cases, be fatal.
5. One of the more surprising quail facts is that they prefer their own company and as such are generally solitary birds. However during mating season they all come together in groups of up to as many as 100 - no doubt accompanied by many fall outs!
6. The quail is able to begin mating at around 2 months old, and nesting occurs between May and September. As many as 20 eggs can be laid in one batch, although the average would usually be around 12, which take approximately 24 days to incubate.
7. Chicks actually only follow their parents for as little as 1 week after hatching, but there is a 30% mortality rate amongst these youngsters. Indeed the average life expectancy of an adult quail is only around the 1 year mark.
8. Quails feed mainly on vegetation such as seeds, wheat, fruit and flowers, although they will also tuck into insects and worms when the mood takes them.
9. The usual daily pattern of the quail is to feed through the morning in areas of open field, with plenty of scope for the diverse vegetation, such as weeds and native grasses that they prefer. Then around mid-day they will take shelter under woody cover right up until late afternoon when they will return to a weedy area for more food, before reverting back to cover to sleep. If at any time they feel threatened they will hide out in places such as briars where they can practically disappear in the thickness of the undergrowth.
10. The numbers of quail are under threat due to a combination of things, such as loss of habitat or the agricultural processes which continues to expand and become more and more sophisticated. Harsh winters can also take their toll on these tiny creatures.