How Many Types of Quail Are There?

how many types of quail are there
Photo by Nicolas Beuret

Are you curious about how many types of Quail there are worldwide? Quail are small, ground-dwelling birds closely related to pheasants and partridges.

There are a surprising number of quail species out there, and in this blog post, we’ll be exploring just how many types of Quail there are. 

We’ll look at the different species of Quail, the unique characteristics of each, and the habitats they inhabit.

In this blog post, we’ll answer the question: how many types of Quail are there? We’ll look at the different quail types, habitats, and behaviors.

So, let’s dive into the world of Quail and find out how many kinds of Quail are out there.

How Many Species of Quail Are There?

“how many types of quail are there?” depends on the region and the taxonomy used. According to the International Ornithologists’ Union, roughly 155 different Quail species are divided into two prominent families: Phasianidae and Odontophoridae.

The most common quail species in the world is the Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica). It is found across much of East Asia and is widely kept as a domesticated pet. Other common species include Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus), Mountain Quail (Oreortyx picta), California Quail (Callipepla California), and Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii). 

Each species has its unique range, habitat preferences, and behavior. For example, Bobwhite Quail prefers open grassy areas throughout North America. Meanwhile, Mountain Quail can be found in shrub-steppe habitats from western Oregon to Baja, California. 

California Quail have a more southern range and can be found in grassy areas from Washington to Mexico. Finally, Gambel’s Quail are found in semi-desert and scrubby habitats in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada. 

In total, these five species make up a large portion of the quail population worldwide. However, depending on where you are located, there may be other species of Quail native to the area.


Quail are small, ground-dwelling birds that are part of the Galliformes order. There are many species and subspecies of Quail, the most common being Japanese Quail, Bobwhite Quail, Mountain Quail, and Gambel’s Quail. Each quail species has distinct physical characteristics, size, and habitat preferences. 

How many types of quail are there? Generally, Quail are small birds with plump bodies and short, rounded wings. They have a short, stout bill, and their feathers are typically brown, with spots or mottling on their backs. The size of Quail can vary greatly depending on the species, with some as small as 4 inches long and others reaching up to 12 inches. 

Japanese quails are a minor type of Quail, measuring between 4-6 inches long and weighing around 2 ounces. They have a short bill and a deep chestnut red throat and head. Bobwhite quails are slightly larger than Japanese quails, measuring 8-10 inches long and weighing up to 4 ounces. 

They have a black-and-white striped head and a white throat. Mountain Quail, found throughout the western United States, measure up to 10 inches long and weigh 6 ounces. They have a distinctive black plume extending from their head and a light gray throat. 

Gambel’s quails are among the most significant type of quails, and they can reach lengths of 12 inches and weigh up to 8 ounces. They have a distinctive head crest and a tan throat with black spots.

Many types of Quail are available for keeping as pets or hunting. Knowing the characteristics of each species can help you determine how many kinds of Quail are best suited for your needs.


Quail are found across the globe, inhabiting many different terrain and climates. They can be found in temperate and tropical regions, from forests to deserts and grasslands. Quail inhabit areas of Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas. 

Various species of Quail are adapted to different types of habitats. Over 20 other species of Quail have additional physical features and habits. Some of the most common species of Quail include the Japanese Quail, Bobwhite Quail, Mountain Quail, California Quail, and Gambel’s Quail. 

Each species is adapted to a specific habitat, ranging from warm and dry regions to wet and wooded areas. By understanding the habitat requirements of each species, it is possible to determine how many types of Quail are there in any given area.

Biggest Quail Breed

When it comes to how many types of Quail there are, the Mountain Quail is considered to be the giant breed of Quail. They have large and weigh around 8-12 ounces. Mountain Quail can grow up to 11 inches and have black, white, and gray plumage. 

They usually inhabit dense scrubby areas and high altitudes in California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon. They forage for food on the ground and fly only when startled. 

Mountain Quail are also well known for their colorful courtship displays. They have a distinctive call of several short, low notes that start slowly and increase in speed.

Life Cycle

Quail have a unique life cycle that begins with eggs laid by the female Quail. How many types of Quail are there? There are a variety of species of Quail, each with its distinct characteristics and behaviors. 

Each type of Quail has a different life cycle, ranging from 12 to 25 days before the chicks hatch. When the eggs hatch, the chicks explore their surroundings, eating insects and learning to fly. In most species of Quail, the chicks will stay with their parents for up to two months before leaving the nest and seeking their territory. 

After this point, Quail reach adulthood and will reproduce in about 8-12 weeks. Adult Quail have a typical lifespan of one to three years, but some species can live up to seven or eight years in captivity. 

During their lifetime, Quail may lay hundreds of eggs and produce several clutches of chicks. This makes them ideal birds for aviary enthusiasts who want to breed these birds for sport or pleasure.


When it comes to reproduction, Quail is known for having large clutches. How many types of quail are there? Depending on the species, quail can lay between 4-14 eggs per clutch. Some species of Quail will have multiple clutches in a single season, while others may have only one. 

In total, there are around 34 different species of Quail, with various mating and nesting habits. For example, the Japanese Quail prefers to lay their eggs on bare ground and does not construct nests, while the Bobwhite Quail is known for its communal nesting habits. 

The Gambel’s Quail builds a shallow cup-shaped nest on the ground and typically lays 8-10 eggs per clutch. Quail reproduction can vary greatly depending on the species and the environment.

Common Quail Species

1. Mountain Quail

The Mountain Quail is one of the many types found throughout North America. This species is distinguishable by its bluish-gray head, chestnut-brown wings, and white throat and belly. It is found mainly in the western United States, from Washington to California and as far east as western Colorado and New Mexico. 

These birds can be seen in wooded areas and along the edges of fields. They roost on the ground and feed on fruits, seeds, buds, and insects. Mountain quails are also well known for their vocalizations, which can be heard from long distances. 

The population of Mountain Quail has declined due to habitat loss and fragmentation, though the exact cause is unknown. How many types of quail are there? There are estimated to be between 200,000 and 500,000 individuals in the wild, making this species one of the least common types of Quail in North America.

2. Bobwhite Quail

The Bobwhite quail is one of the most widespread types found across North America. It is also one of the easiest Quail to recognize, with its bright white throat, black-and-white striped head, and rust-colored back. It is often seen walking in groups in open fields and woodlands, where it feeds on seeds and insects.

Bobwhite quail come in two distinct subspecies: the northern bobwhite and the Masked bobwhite. The northern bobwhite is found mainly in the eastern United States, while the Masked bobwhite is primarily in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Several hybrid varieties of Bobwhite quail have been created by mixing the two subspecies. 

Bobwhite quail are considered good game birds and are famous for hunting and being kept as pets. They can also be used for egg production and meat production. In addition, Bobwhite quail eggs can be eaten or incubated for hatching.

3. Gambel’s Quail

Gambel’s Quail is one of the many types found in North America. This Quail is native to desert regions and is named after William Gambel, an American naturalist who first discovered the species in 1843. 

Gambel’s Quail is smaller than other types of Quail, with males having distinct black and white markings on their heads. These birds are highly sociable and usually form large flocks, often numbering in the hundreds. They feed on various seeds, plants, insects, and other invertebrates. 

In addition to being a famous game bird, Gambel’s Quail is hunted for its meat and eggs. How many types of quail are there? With an estimated population of nearly four million individuals, it is estimated that there are at least three different types of Gambel’s Quail living in the United States, making them one of the more common types of Quail that can be found in North America.

4. Japanese Quail

Several types of Quail are found worldwide, but the Japanese Quail is one of the most common. Native to Japan and China, the Japanese Quail is a small, ground-dwelling bird found in various habitats, ranging from grassy fields to mountainous regions. This quail species can be identified by its distinctive dark head, white collar, and rounded black tail. 

The Japanese Quail is popular among hunters for its rich and flavorful meat and is also used for laboratory research. These birds have been domesticated for centuries and are now bred on farms for egg and meat production.


How many types of quail are there? There are many different types of Quail around the world. Depending on where you live, you may find anywhere from three to over one hundred species of Quail. Japanese Quail, Bobwhite Quail, Mountain Quail, and Gambel’s Quail are the most common species. 

Each species is unique in its size, coloration, and habitat preferences. All these birds are highly adaptable and can be found in various habitats. Whether you are looking for an egg-laying pet or a colorful addition to your backyard, the answer to the question “how many types of quail are there?” is a whopping three to over one hundred!

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