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Galliformes > Phasianidae

Common Quail

Coturnix coturnix

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Identification

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Small pear-shaped gamebird. Breeds in taller grassland and grain fields from western Europe east to central Asia and winters in similar habitat in Africa, southern Europe, and South Asia. Rarely seen, and most often detected by male’s emphatic whistled "wet-my-lips!" song, which can be given at night. When flushed, explodes from underfoot and flies off strongly with whirring wingbeats and short glides. Plumage cryptic and streaky brown with pale eyebrow; male has black throat stripe. Very similar to Japanese Quail, whose male has a much darker face; females, immature birds, and domestic types (kept as captive for eggs and can escape) are probably not safely separable in the field.

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