Quirky Quail Facts

quail photo
Male Quail photo from my Bird Buddy.

I’m working on my community newsletter and my co-editor Sherry and neighbor Shirley put together fun facts about quail. I learned a lot of quirky things about quail I never knew before.

Here are the facts:

A group of quail is called a “covey.”

Males and females pair for life.

The male has a top knot plume that is actually six feathers together, and is used to intimidate other males.

Their food of preference is wild bird seed, followed by uncooked rice or sunflower seeds.

Nests are mostly in pots or window boxes, and are made by hollowing out the nest in dirt.

There can be a total of 7 to 28 eggs per nest, with the female laying 1 to 2 per day.  It is common for two females to share a nest, which is called “egg dumping,” and the female only sits on the nest after all the eggs are laid.

Eggs are speckled brown and arranged in a neat oval called a “clutch.”

Incubation is 25 days at a temperature of 100 degrees, and eggs are turned often.

Before hatching the babies peep inside the eggs.

They are born with a full coat of feathers, eyes wide open, and are able to feed themselves.

They all hatch on the same day and leave the nest immediately, usually in late June.                              

From MY HOA SPRING 2023 NEWSLETTER — Written by sherry and shirley

nest of quail eggs
This is the nest of quail eggs I discovered in a pot of Elephant Feed succulents. We’re up to at least 20 eggs now!

I told one of my friends I discovered this nest of quail eggs and she asked when I was going to “pick them.” I told her we’re letting them hatch and that I can’t wait to see the babies line up behind their mom and dad and follow them around our yard. They are so cute!

She said, “But quail eggs are so delicious.”

“I can buy them at the farmer’s market.” And I did!

A dozen quail eggs from the farmer's market.

These are the quail eggs I bought at our local farmer’s market. The vendor assured me these didn’t come from someone’s yard, but he buys them from a quail egg ranch. Somehow that makes it better. I can’t imagine stealing the eggs from the quail living in my yard!

hard. boiled quail eggs.

I asked the vendor at the farmer’s market what they tasted like and how to prepare them. He said most people hard boil them and put them in salads. He also said they taste exactly like chicken eggs.

I looked up how long to hard boil quail eggs and of course it’s much less time than chicken eggs. 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes. My friend was right — they are delicious!

Have you ever tried quail eggs? If so, what did you think about them?

Would you harvest quail eggs from your own yard? Why or why not?

43 thoughts on “Quirky Quail Facts

  1. That’s some very interesting information about quail. I’ve never tried quail eggs. Do they taste very different than regular eggs? I wouldn’t harvest them either..

  2. My first thought was perfect one-bite eggs! I can’t imagine raiding wild bird nests for their eggs even if the nests are in my planter. It seems wrong to me.

  3. Wow – lots of new info for me…and as always, the featured pic is fabulous. I have two thoughts: One — in the photo – are those little raised feet on the landing pad for the birds something designed to give them traction — you know, like a bathmat in a slippery tub for humans? And two — given your post the other day with a reference to the Covey family…learning that a group of quail = a ‘covey’ is fun and fascinating! As for the eating – I hate eggs (of all types) unless they’re enrobed in a cake or baked good, LOL! 🤣😉🤣

  4. I love the picture! I’m never seen a quail up so close. I’ve never tried quail eggs, but I certainly wouldn’t harvest in the wild. I just saw the first baby quail of the season this week… I swear there must have been 30 itty bitty birds. They’re too cute!

  5. I’ve tried them but am ambivalent about them. No way I’d harvest them from my yard. I’d look at that mama quail and cry

  6. I never had quail eggs. I don’t even like chicken eggs as I ate too many when I was on keto diet. These look amazing. I hope you can take pictures of baby quails when they hatch.

    • I will try to get baby quail photos and videos. I can’t wait to see them. I’m worried they won’t hatch because the nest is right outside our garage and the parents flew away early on when I backed the car out of the garage. We will see!

  7. Love the alliteration, Elizabeth! And going down the list of quail facts, it made me think about your planter so I was gloriously rewarded by your next section and photos. No way I’d take those eggs either. Can’t wait for the pictures of the baby quail!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the title and quirky facts. I can’t wait for the babies to hatch and I worry that something is going to happen that they won’t hatch. I’m acting like a “mother hen!”

  8. I’ve never had any adn would leave them be (I enjoy the birds far more than their eggs). My son on the other hand would scope them up in a heart beat. He is a chef, and is know to forage the woodlands in OR. Yeah!

    • I enjoyed the ones from the farmer’s market, but enjoy the birds more than eggs. I understand your son though, because my friend who asked if I was going to eat the eggs in my yard — they live off of hunting, fishing and foraging — and a bit of Costco.

  9. Such an interesting post! I’ve never tried quail eggs and I’d never steal them from a nest. I might try them from the farmer’s market though. They are pretty cute all cooked up and I bet look nice in a salad.

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