Bobwhite Quail Bird, Uses, Breeding & Best 23 Varieties Of Quail

Bobwhite quail bird (Colinus virginianus) is a moderately-sized quail and is the only small galliform. It was seen as a desirable game bird by early European settlers and is now hunted in many parts of the US. The specific epithet “Virginians” refers to its native range from Virginia to the Gulf Coast states. It has also been introduced into Mexico.

Bobwhite Quail Bird image
Bobwhite Quail Bird image

The adult male is a medium-sized bird with a long crest, light scaly neck hackles, and white throat. The breast and upper belly are grayish-white shadings into brownish-black on the sides, lower belly, and under tail coverts. The female is slightly smaller than the male with the same coloring but has a coat of brownish plumage marked by buff feather shafts.


Best 23 varieties of bobwhite quail bird

Jaumave bobwhite, Cuban bobwhite, Florida bobwhite, Key West bobwhite, spot-bellied bobwhite, Pennsylvania bobwhite, Mexican bobwhite, plains bobwhite, Texas bobwhite, Virginia bobwhite, Grayson’s bobwhite,  Puebla bobwhite, Godman’s bobwhite, least bobwhite, black-breasted bobwhite, Thayer’s bobwhite, black-headed bobwhite, Coyolcos bobwhite, Harrison’s bobwhite, Guatemalan bobwhite, masked bobwhite, Salvin’s bobwhite, Nelson’s bobwhite.


On average, Bobwhite quail usually weigh between, with an average length of, and a wingspan of around. They are also characterized by their lack of a hind toe, instead of possessing an extra toe on each foot similar to that of the ostrich.

The male is known for its singing ability, specifically its louder and more complex song than any other quail. Its song is a series of clear whistles that end in a trill.


The species was once thought to be monogamous, but with the advent of radio telemetry, the sexual behavior of boho whites has been better described as polygamy. Pre-primary chicks leave the nest immediately after hatching.

Bobwhite Quail Bird breeding pair
Bobwhite Quail Bird breeding pair

The main source of nest failure is prey. An incubating parent can alternatively stay with her children. A hen can nest four times until she finds a successful nest. However, it is extremely rare for Bobwhite to find more than two successful homes in one nesting season.


The bobwhite quail are raised primarily for hunting. They are a favorite of hunters in the US and Canada due to their ability to survive in a wide variety of habitats and ease of hunting.

They also have several uses as pets, being one of the few species that can be kept in aviaries. The Mexican bobwhite quail population is expanding due to the invasion of this species by market hunters and illegal introductions as well as improved nesting success.


They can be found in a wide variety of habitats, ranging from shrubby areas to grasslands and deserts. They have also been sighted in urban areas as well as suburban ones. However, they are most commonly found in dry grassy areas like prairies, and forests that experience long winters.

Conservation status

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, this species is classified as Least Concern.

Special Notes

The bobwhite quail is a rather common species in North America. However, there is no evidence of any conservation measures being taken to protect the species’ population. The highest annual average numbers of Bobwhite quail were measured in the mid-1920s and early 1930s, but since then the numbers have been declining.

This decrease in population density could be attributed to several factors such as habitat loss as well as hunting. Other factors could include climate change and increasing levels of competition with northern bobwhites.


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