Harlequin Quail – Coturnix Delegorguei
The Harlequin Quail is often seen on open grasslands, watery fields and savannas where there are many trees and shrubs.
They would occasionally visit cereal fields as well. They’re commonly found up to 4500 feet (1500 meters) of altitude. Mostly gather into flocks of 20-60 birds and sometimes even mix with the European quail that migrate here for the winter months.
Their nesting customs are identical to their European cousins. They mostly live in monogamy but rarely happen that two hens would lay into the same nest. Their nest is a shallow scraped hole in the ground padded with grass and often partially covered with a dome-like structure. The hen will take care of the nest on her own. She will lay around 5 eggs and incubates them for 14-18 days. In case that the cockerel owns more hens the nest can contain even 22 eggs. The egg of the harlequin Quail is of cream colour with lilac-brown spotting. They would only bring up one batch of chicken in a season and the cockerel will take an active part in the raising and defending of their little ones.
They mostly feed on invertebrates, grasshoppers, bugs, ants, termites and various pupas. Seeds, young plant sprouts and leaves are only classed as food supplement for them.
There are three known subspecies of the Harlequin Quail:
· Coturnix Delegorguei Delegorguei
· Coturnix Delegorguei Histrionica
· Coturnix Delegorguei Arabica
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