Old World quail
|Brown quail, Coturnix ypsilophora|
Old World quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds in the pheasant family Phasianidae. New World quail are also found in the Galliformes, but are not in the same family (Odontophoridae). Buttonquails are not closely related at all, but are named for their similar appearance. They are presently found in the Turnicidae family in the Charadriiformes, more closely related to shorebirds, gulls and auks.
Old World quail may refer to the following species of Phasianidae:
- Genus Coturnix
- Common quail, Coturnix coturnix
- Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica
- Stubble quail, Coturnix pectoralis
- †New Zealand quail, Coturnix novaezelandiae (extinct)
- Rain quail, Coturnix coromandelica
- Harlequin quail, Coturnix delegorguei
- †Canary Islands quail, Coturnix gomerae (fossil)
- Brown quail, Coturnix ypsilophora
- Blue quail, Coturnix adansonii
- King quail, Coturnix chinensis
- Genus Anurophasis
- Snow Mountains quail, Anurophasis monorthonyx
- Genus Perdicula
- Genus Ophrysia
- Himalayan quail, Ophrysia superciliosa (critically endangered/extinct)
Old World quail are small, plump terrestrial birds. They are seed eaters, but will also take insects and similar small prey. They nest on the ground and are capable of short, rapid bursts of flight. Some species, such as the Japanese and common quail, are migratory and fly for long distances.  Some quail are farmed in large numbers. The common and Japanese (or coturnix) quail are both raised for table meat or to produce eggs. They are also readily hunted, often artificially stocked on game farms or to supplement wild populations.
Migrating common quail are known to eat some poisonous seeds with no apparent ill effects but store the poison in their body fat, poisoning people who subsequently eat these birds; this condition is known as "coturnism".
- Phillips, Lori Byrd (March 8, 2012). "Wikipedia Image of the Week #2". Wikipedia in Residence. Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- USGS - Animal Congregations, or What Do You Call a Group
- "Coturnix japonica (Japanese quail)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
- "Coturnix coturnix (common quail)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
- Coturnism: Human Poisoning By European Migratory Quail Journal of Cultural Geography Volume 7, Issue 2, 1987, Pages 51 - 65 Authors: David C. Lewisa; Elizabeth Metallinos-Katzarasb; Louis E. Grivettic doi:10.1080/08873638709478507
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