958. Coturnix communis

Coturnix communis, Bonnaterre, Tabl. Encycl. Moth. i. p. 217 (1790) ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 15 ; Dresser, vii. p. 143, pl. 476 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 114 ; Saunders, p. 505 ; Lilford, iv. p. 121, pl. 54 ; Tetrao coturnix, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 278 ; (Naum.), vi. p. 576, Taf. 166 ; (Ogilvie Grant), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxii. p. 231 ; C. vulgaris, Bout. Orn. Dauph. p. 72, pl. 43, fig. i. (1843) ; Hewitson, i. p. 284, pl. lxxii.
Caille. French ; Codorniz, Portug, and Span. ; Qua glia, Ital. ; Wachtel, German ; Kwartel, Dutch ; Vagtel, Dan. and Norweg ; Vaktel, Swed. ; Peltopyy. Finn. ; Perepelka, Russ. ; Bildertschin, Persian ; Bater, Hindu.
Male ad. (England). Crown and nape blackish brown, variegated with rufous buff, and with a central and two lateral buff lines ; upper parts warm light brown, broadly marked with dark brown and black, and with long dashes of light buff ; wings and tail brown, barred with buff ; sides of head pale brown ; throat and sides of neck buffy white ; a black patch on the chin, a black band at the base of the throat, and a rufous band below ; sides of neck washed with rufous ; breast pale rufous dashed with white ; rest of under parts buffy white, the flanks rufous with buff central stripes ; bill brownish horn ; legs fleshy brown ; iris brown. Culmen 0.5, wing 4.15, tail 1.6, tarsus 1.1 inch. The female has the chin and throat buffy white, unmarked with black, and the breast reddish buff, spotted with blackish brown.
Hab. Europe generally, breeding north to Scandinavia and Britain, and south to North Africa, migrating into South Africa in winter ; Asia Minor and Asia, north to Siberia and south to India in winter ; not occurring in South-eastern Asia ; in South Africa and the islands off the African coast it is re¬placed by a closely allied form, C. capensis, Licht., which, in the male, has the throat bright rufous chestnut with a black anchor¬shaped mark down the middle.
Is chiefly migratory throughout its range, and is a less gre¬garious bird than the Partridge, but when migrating they collect in vast flocks. Its flight is swift, whirring and direct, and its food consists of seeds, grain, and insects. Its note is a short harsh and deep prelude rowow, followed by a loud pickernic or wet-my-lips, or wet-my-feet, and both sexes call each other with a note resembling the syllables beebcwe. It is monogamous, and breeds late, the eggs being deposited late in June or early in July, in a depression in the ground scantily lined with a few grass bents or plant stems. The eggs, 8 to 14 in number, are brownish yellow, richly blotched with blackish brown, and measure about 1.18 by 0.92.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
958. Coturnix communis
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Common Quail
Coturnix coturnix
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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