Common quail, or quail (Latin Coturnix coturnix, obsolete name – Latin Coturnix dactylisonans s. Communis – a bird of the subfamily of the partridge squatters.
Body length 16-20 cm, weight 80-145 g.
Plumage ocherous color, top of head, back, nadhvoste and upper covering tail feathers in dark and light brown transverse striae and spots, behind eyes reddish strip. The male cheeks are dark red, goiter red, chin and throat are black. The female differs from it with a pale-ocherous chin and throat and presence of black-brown spots (pestrin) on the lower part of the trunk and sides.
An ordinary quail is common in Europe, Africa and Western Asia; In Russia – in the east to Lake Baikal. Inhabits the fields on the plains and in the mountains. It hibernates in Africa and South-West Asia, mainly in South Africa and in Hindustan. Nests throughout Europe and Asia to North Africa, Palestine, Iran and Turkestan. Flies to the south in early April, to the north in early May.
As soon as the grass grows, the quail starts screaming and the males enter into battle with each other because of the female. Nests are arranged on the ground. The female puts 8-20 eggs of fawn color with black-brown spots; Incubates for 15-17 days and takes out the chicks without the participation of a male.
When bread ripens, the quails move to the fields, quickly fatten and fatten. Depart, according to latitude, from late August to late September. Food is mainly plant (seeds, buds, shoots), less often insects.
People and quail
Meat and eggs of quails are very tasty. Mineral fertilizers and pesticides dispersed in the fields lead to poisoning and a sharp decrease in the number of quails that previously served as an object of hunting during the autumn migration in the Crimea and the Caucasus. The quail carries a very good quail. In Central Asia, the quail is kept in cages as a fighting bird and for the sake of «singing» – a loud current shout.