Q:

What do quails eat?

A:

Quail are omnivores that eat both insects and small plant seeds. They may also feed on grain crops, such as corn and soybeans, and legumes, such as peas. Their diets vary with the seasons and by location, depending what is available to them.

Quail tend to live in brush along the edge of pastures or woodlands. They duck into shrubs and brambles in order to escape from predators, which include foxes and coyotes. Quail call to each other using a clear, whistle-like sound. In the fall, they gather in groups called convoys to eat the plentiful seeds. When winter arrives, groups of quail roost together in dense shrubs. Many quail die over the winter months. Those that survive leave their roosting spots in the spring and pair off with mates. The females lay their eggs in nests in the brush. They sit on a nest of 12 to 15 eggs for about 24 days before hatching occurs.

Many different varieties of quail are found throughout the United States. Common species include the kind quail and the northern bobwhite quail. These and other large species are commonly hunted as game or raised on farms for human consumption. It's also common for people to raise quail on farms and then release them to supplement local populations.


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