Quails are a family of smallish, plump birds that are native to North America and other parts of the world.
They’re commonly found in the wild where they are an important prey species, hunted by humans for sport and they are also, surprisingly, raised for meat and eggs just like chickens.
Some quails are also known to congregate in groups, and like many animals, they have a specific name for a group when they gather en masse. So, what do you call a group of quails?
A group of quails is called a covey, though flock is often used informally as with most birds.
Interesting. It seems like birds get all the cool group names,and quails are just the next in a long line! Anyway, in this article, we’re traveling deep into terminology territory as we explore quails as a species.
Can You Call a Group of Quail a Flock?
While flock is a more general term for any group of birds (or sheep!), a group of quails is properly referred to as a covey.
Whether or not this is important depends on who you are talking to: if you’re talking to an ornithologist, birder, or just a pedant, I’d stick with covey.
Otherwise, everyone will know and accept what you’re talking about if you say “flock” when referring to quail.
Why Do Quails Group Up in the First Place?
Quails are not the most sociable birds. Most individuals of belonging to most breeds spend their time alone or with their mate and prefer that to groups.
Even so, quails can regularly be seen grouping up in a variety of situations.
They may gather to search for food, to dust bathe, to migrate (sometimes), or to keep warm during the colder months of the year.
Another theory is that specific populations have adapted to this behavior as grouping up provides protection against predators.
With more eyes and ears on the lookout for danger, quails can better detect and evade potential threats.
Whatever the reason, it is not unheard of for quail to be in a flock- or rather covey!
Do Quails Live Alone or Together?
The answer is that it depends on the species of quail. Some quails are truly solitary birds that prefer to live alone, while others are gregarious or pair-bonding, and yet others live in small groups all the time.
For example, the California quail is a very social species that lives in large groups, while the Gambel’s quail prefers to live alone or in small family units.
Either way, quails from any species will have occasion to group up at least some of the time.
What Do You Call Multiple Quail Chicks?
A group of quail chicks is still just a covey. These tiny, fluffy baby birds are known for sticking together in tight-knit groups for safety.
And while a covey of quail chicks may seem delicate, and they are as far as predators are concerned, they’re actually quite tough and resilient in other ways.
These little chicks can adapt to a wide range of habitats, from deserts to forests, and are soon able to fly short distances to avoid predators just like their parents.
Do Different Breeds of Quail Have Different Group Names?
As it turns out, not all breeds of quail have the same group name. For example, a group of Bobwhite and most other quails is still known as a “covey”, while a group of Gambel’s quails is called a “wagering”.
The California quail, on the other hand, is sometimes known as a “cove”. Meanwhile, Montezuma quails are referred to as “revenge” when flocking together. Very clever names, in all cases!
It’s always interesting to learn about the different nuances and characteristics that set each breed of quail apart from one another, and knowing them is a great way to flex your intellect a bit when you are trying to impress the birders (or trivia buffs) in your life.
How Many Quails Will Usually Be in a Group?
The number of quails in a group can vary depending on the species and circumstances. Generally, quails are social birds and tend to form groups for safety, mating, and foraging purposes.
In the wild, some species of quails, such as the California quail, form coveys of 30 birds or even more, while others form smaller bands of around 5 to 10 birds.
Gambel’s quail, found in the southwestern United States and Mexico, are known to remain mostly in monogamous pairings or alone, but will occasionally form colonies consisting of multiple family units in a smaller area.
Other species, like the aforementioned European quail, form vast migratory flocks like most other bird species.
It’s important to note that the size of a quail group can also depend on the availability of food and resources in their habitat.
If resources are abundant, quails may form larger groups, while in harsher conditions, they may stick to smaller numbers to conserve resources.
Tim is a farm boy with vast experience on homesteads, and with survival and prepping. He lives a self-reliant lifestyle along with his aging mother in a quiet and very conservative little town in Ohio. He teaches folks about security, prepping and self-sufficiency not just through his witty writing, but also in person.