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quail

quail, common name for a variety of small game birds related to the partridge, pheasant, and more distantly to the grouse. There are three subfamilies in the quail family: the New World quails; the Old World quails and partridges; and the true pheasants and seafowls. No species of New World quail is migratory, but some Old World quail represent the only migratory species of the order. The migratory quail of Eurasia has been known for its phenomenal migrations since biblical times. Quails have high reproductive potentials, with 12 to 15 eggs laid per clutch. The nests are built on the ground in vegetation. The female does the major portion of incubation and rearing. Quails are extremely popular game birds. The Old World quail has never been naturalized in America; in the central and S United States the bobwhite, Colinus virginianus, is commonly called quail (or partridge). The helmet and plumed quails, named for their crests, the Gambel's quail, and the valley and scaled quails are all western birds. They eat harmful insects and seeds and travel in flocks called coveys. Quails are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Galliformes, family Phasianidae.

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quail

quail1 / kwāl/ • n. (pl. same or quails ) 1. a small, short-tailed Old World game bird (family Phasianidae) resembling a tiny partridge, typically having brown camouflaged plumage. Three genera, in particular Coturnix, and several species include the common quail (C. coturnix). 2. a small or medium-sized New World game bird (family Phasianidae or Odontophoridae) the male of which has distinctive facial markings. Several genera and many species include the bobwhite. . quail2 • v. [intr.] feel or show fear or apprehension: she quailed at his heartless words.

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quail

quail Any of a group of Old World gamebirds. The European quail (Coturnix coturnix), a small, short-tailed bird with white throat and mottled brownish plumage, is found throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. The Australian quail (Turnix velox) is a stocky, brownish bird. Mainly ground-living birds, they scrape for fruits and seeds and nest on the ground. The Japanese quail (C. coturnix japonica) is used as a source of meat and eggs in Europe and the USA.

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quail

quail Formerly a game bird, now so endangered in the wild that shooting is prohibited, but farmed. Two main species, Bonasa umbellus and Colinus virginianus; Californian quail is Lophortyx californica. The small eggs are prized as a delicacy. A 150‐g portion (whole bird) is a rich source of protein and niacin; a good source of vitamins B1 and B2; contains 3 g of fat and supplies 180 kcal (760 kJ).

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quail

quail. Toy instr. which imitates the cry of the quail; used in ‘toy symphonies’. Beethoven imitated the quail in his Pastoral Symphony but using normal instrs.

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quail

quail1 migratory bird allied to the partridge. XIV. — OF. quaille (mod. caille):- medL. coacula, prob. of imit. orig.

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quail

quail2 fail, give way XV; lose heart, be cowed XVI; also trans. of unkn. orig.

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quails

quails See PHASIANIDAE.

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quail

quailail, ale, assail, avail, bail, bale, bewail, brail, Braille, chain mail, countervail, curtail, dale, downscale, drail, dwale, entail, exhale, fail, faille, flail, frail, Gael, Gail, gale, Grail, grisaille, hail, hale, impale, jail, kale, mail, male, nail, nonpareil, outsail, pail, pale, quail, rail, sail, sale, sangrail, scale, shale, snail, stale, swale, tail, tale, they'll, trail, upscale, vail, vale, veil, wail, wale, whale, Yale •Passchendaele • Airedale •Wensleydale • Clydesdale •Chippendale • Coverdale • Abigail •galingale • martingale • nightingale •farthingale • Windscale • timescale •blackmail • airmail •email, female •Ishmael • voicemail • vermeil

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