Coturnix coturnix
codorniz común
English: Common Quail.
German: Wachtel.
French: Caille des blés.
Order: Galliformes.
Family: Phasianidae.
16-18 cm.
This species cannot be confused with any other Iberian species.
The adult male of the common quail has a black (or dark brown) anchor-shaped spot on the throat. This spot can have a wide variety of shapes, shades, and sizes. The chest is tawny with white stripe markings. The flank feathers are stained with chestnut, without dark speckling. Juvenile males may or may not have a dark throat, but are still recognizable by the chest. In the case of the female, the throat is always white, without an anchor. The chest is tawny with abundant dark speckling and flank feathers with dark speckling.
It is possible to recognize 3 different ages:

Juvenile specimen: they are similar to the females. They have new feathers. The wing without a molt limit. Males have some flank feathers very similar to the female’s.

2nd year specimen: with a molt limit between the darkest flight feathers, and the 3-5 retained juvenile outer primaries, with their primary coverts worn and ochre-colored.

Adult specimen: with all the feathers of the wing of the same generation, without a molt limit.
Common Quails perform a complete post-nuptial molt that begins before migration and is generally finished in the breeding areas, but can also be suspended and finished in wintering areas. The post-juvenile molt is partial, changing the body feathers in about 6 weeks after hatching. All the wing feathers except for the 3-5 primaries are changed between the months of August and September. There is a pre-nuptial molt in all ages that only encompasses body feathers, so the juvenile outer primaries are changed with the first post-nuptial molt.
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 14-15 per wing.
Rectrices: 12.


Adult specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center:

Adult specimen


1.- Left wing primaries. 2.- Detail of the primaries. 3.- Primaries. 4.- Detail of the primaries. 5.- Details of the primaries. 6.- Secondaries. 7.- Secondaries. 8.- Detail of the secondaries. 9.- Details of the tertials. 10.- Left wing primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 11.- Rectrices. 12.- Rectrices. 13.- Details of the rectrices. 14.- Details of the flank feathers.

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