Many members of Quail family

The Brown Quail is probably the best known of its Order.

Some years ago, I had the opportunity to visit a gentleman who was a breeder of Parrots.

His set-up was very professional and the birds were well cared for. What was of great interest for me, was the number of different little Quails he had. They had plenty of places to hide but every so often, one or two would come out into the open.

He was only too pleased to tell me about the Quails as well, which was a family I knew little about. I was pleased to get to know them better.

It was very interesting being able to see at close range, some of the different members of this group. Seeing them in the wild would be very difficult as they are very secretive birds keeping out of sight if at all possible..

In Australia, we have two ‘Orders’ of Quails.

In the first of the two, which are the ones called Quails, there are four members, three of which are to be found in our area. These are small, solidly built birds with short rounded wings. Being scratchers and diggers, they have short, powerful legs.

Perhaps the best known for us is the Brown Quail (pictured).

The smallest in this Order is the King Quail at 14cm in length. The male and female are different in appearance. The male is quite distinctive with brown upper feathers marked with black. He has white and black bands on his under face and neck.

The third member in this area, the Stubble Quail, is similar to the Brown, but somewhat darker in colour.

The second Order is known as ‘Button Quails’. They are also small, and look similar to the other Order but have slightly longer legs.