Saturday, December 8, 2012

King Quail

Coturnix chinensis
The King Quail, also known as the Asian Blue Quail, or Painted Quail, is the smallest of all the "true Quail" species. They measure only about 6in in length, and the females are actually larger than the males. You'll find them in south and southeast Asia, Australia, and on several Pacific islands.

Males are where the "Blue" name comes from-- they have slate blue breasts that are not present at all in females. Elsewhere their feathers range from a reddish brown, to lighter shades of brown, to black. This Quail species is quite popular in aviculture, and in captivity there are several other color variations that can be found.

King Quails live in either pairs or in small groups called Coveys. The rainy season dictates when they breed, and the females can lay as many as 14 eggs at a time! The newly hatched chicks are precocial, and go incredibly fast-- they can reach full adulthood after only a month! This quick maturation serves them well in the wild, as they usually only live a few years (they can live more than a decade in captivity).

Because the King Quails are such prolific breeders, and because they have such a massive range, they are listed as being of Least Concern. Some local populations (like those in parts of Australia) are becoming more rare, and are receiving protection.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Asia, Australia
Size : Length up to 6in (14cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Galliformes
Family : Phasianidae -- Genus : Coturnix -- Species : C. chinensis

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