is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds in the Pheasant family
Phasianidae. This article
deals with the Old World quail species. The New World quails are not
closely related, but are named for their similar appearance and behaviour.
Old World buttonquails are also in a
different family Turnicidae, and are completely
unrelated to the true quails.
quails are small, plump terrestrial birds. They are seed eaters, but will also take insects and similar
small prey. They nest on the ground.
quail were once a popular game bird.
are an edible game species. The Common Quail was previously much favoured in French
cooking, but quail for the table are now more likely to be domesticated Japanese
The eggs of the quail are considered
a delicacy, and are sometimes used raw in sushi.