10 Types of Quail in India

Types of Quail in India
Photo by Elisa Stone

The quail is an amazing bird with many fascinating qualities for a bird its size. Many species roam the earth’s surface and have found their way into homes as pets. These birds are also contributing immensely to commercial farm activities. 

Some are reared for their meat, others for eggs. These birds cannot fly because of their short legs. They are amazing egg layers.

Unfortunately, they are endangered species hunted by animals. You should treat these types of quail in India with utmost care.

Fortunately, conservation efforts are in motion to help preserve these birds. Quails are of different species, and some exquisite species worthy of note are the species found in India.

The quail has gained such relevance that the government has put efforts into ensuring these birds thrive. 

However, some of these types of quail in India have found a way to adapt to their ever-changing environment. Also, there are two major species endemic to India; the black-breasted quail and the brown-colored Japanese quail.

The brown-colored Japanese is majorly bred for meat production and commercial quail production activities. 

Moreover, the brown-colored Japanese is not just bigger than the black-colored quail; it’s the biggest quail species!  There isn’t much difference in physical qualities when identifying the two species.

However, the black-breasted quail has black feathers on its chest, distinguishing it from the brown-colored Japanese quail. 

However, to help you identify the types of quail in India, we’ve put together a list of each. We included their major features and all the amazing qualities each one has.

Even though there are two major types of quail endemic to India, others have been introduced over the years.

Let’s go through the amazing types of quail in India and what each looks like! Hopefully, these exceptional features of the types of quail in India will fascinate you.

1. King Quail

This bird is one of the types of quail in India with many names that leave you wondering which to choose. These names originated from the different places the bird is known to live.

It is called the blue crested quail, Chung-chi, Asian blue quail, or Chinese painted quail. Furthermore, the king quail is the smallest species with blue color on its chest and brown feathers underneath its plumage.

To easily identify the king quail, you should look for its feet. The king quail has orange feet, adding to its already colorful plumage and striking appearance. 

Also, this color is particular to the common type of king quail; you might notice others with various colors. The king quail also has amazing striped black and white colors on its face. Usually, the males are the colorful ones; the female king quail is usually of a darker color. 

Moreover, the king quail are mainly reared as a pet and have a 3-6 years lifespan. So if you’re thinking of having a king quail, you would have them around for a long time. It has been observed that these hardy birds live up to 13 years in captivity and lay many eggs too. 

In addition, King quails are ground-living birds and usually don’t interfere with other birds; they love their privacy!  The king quail feeds mainly on grasses, earthworms, grains, fruits, nuts, and leaves.

These amazing birds are good at camouflage and blend well with their surroundings to avoid predators. 

Finally, they can fly short distances in cases where they need to, but they spend most of their time on the ground. To know more about the types of quail in India, keep reading!

2. Painted Bush Quail

The painted bush quail is one of the types of quail in India found in the hill forests of India. These birds are easily recognized by their red legs and bills.

These birds move together in small groups in a single file to avoid being separated while moving on the hillsides. Furthermore, the painted bush quail has a liquid alarm call that notifies group members when danger looms.

They spend most of their time on the ground but can fly short distances when flushed. You can identify males with their eyebrows and throat embodied with a dark plumage. 

In contrast, females lack the characteristic while color is found on males’ eyebrows and throat.  Another way to identify them is their kri-kri sound when looking for a mate in breeding seasons.

The Painted bush quail has two subspecies that are referred to as the painted bush quail. In addition, the subspecies are known as the Blewitti and Blowetti; they are also types of quail in India.

Even though their names look alike, each bird has its characteristics. Painted bush quails are omnivorous, feeding mainly on seeds, small insects, and grains. 

3. Common Quail

The common quail is a small bird that you can describe as pear-shaped and difficult to see. Usually, People only successively hear its repeated call sounds.

This is because these birds prefer to live on dense vegetation that masks their presence perfectly. 

Furthermore, common quails are one of the types of quails found in southern India and are called European quails alternatively.

They are ground nesting game birds that migrate during seasons. Common quails are not endangered since they are hard to spot and see.  

However, these amazing birds share similar features with the Japanese quail, but the distinctive feature is their call sounds. Female common quails are mostly kept for eggs and tend to escape into the wild.

Common quails prefer to run and hide than fly, but in some cases, they fly when disturbed or when flushed. 

In addition, common quails are often confused with young gray partridges because they look alike. However, there is no confusion with adult partridges because adults have clearer distinct features than young ones.

For example, young gray partridges lack the bold head pattern and long broad tails of common quails. Moreover, common quails also have short-distance flights, unlike young gray partridges.

So if you see a young gray partridge, check for these features if you think it’s a quail. These types of quail in India may have similar features, but each one is unique.

4. Japanese Quail

The Japanese quail is one of the types of quail in India that are often classified as old-world quail. They were formerly considered subspecies of the common quail but are a different species of quails today. These birds are hardy and make for good pets and efficient egg layers. 

Also, they are even used in commercial aviary meat and egg production. These birds provide healthy meat and can lay up to 300 eggs annually. Male and female Japanese quails have the same type of plumage with distinct features for identification. 

For instance, males have markings on the throat and breasts, which are absent in females. Males also exhibit white collar coloration that is absent in females.

So instead, you will find the same pale yellow-brown stripes with black stripes from the top of the head to the back.

Furthermore, Japanese quails prefer to live on the ground in thick vegetation to protect them from predators. These birds are good for meat and egg production. Egg color can vary from white, pale brown, or blue. 

Have you seen a blue egg? Japanese quails, one of the types of quail in India, lay blue eggs! They eat grasses, insects, and seeds.

They have a long life span of about 13 years like other types of quail in India.

5. Rain Quail

The rain quail is often confused with the common and Japanese quail because of their similar features.

These birds are among the types of quail in India that do not migrate during seasons. They prefer to live in open habitats like farmlands, meadows, etc. 

In addition, Rain quails are often seen in flight, usually when flushed. The males have a distinct black and white face pattern with a triangular black spotted chest.

The rain quail got its other name, ” the black-breasted quail,” from this feature found in the males. Also, these birds make amazing pets and can keep you company when you need them to.

These types of quail in India are simply exceptional birds! All you need to do is get to know the different features the types of quail in India have.

6. Himalayan Quail

The Himalayan quail is one of the types of quail in India that is believed to be extinct. It was last seen around 1876. The bird was reported to have lived in the western Himalayas in Uttarakhand and northwest India. 

However, its last known location in 1876 was near the hill station in Mussoorie. Two known subspecies are believed to be extinct as well.

The Himalayan has some special characteristics, with dark grey plumage and white supercilium and forehead for males. 

In contrast, the females have dark brown streaks and grey brows. These birds are believed to move in small groups and fly when flushed at close quarters.

These amazing birds were known to have lived along steep hillsides covered with long thick grass. Moreover, this vegetation cover would help shield them from predators.

These birds were also believed to have been migratory birds, but it was hard to believe. This is because these birds had short wings; they are still among the exceptional types of quail in India.

7. Jungle Bush Quail

The jungle bush quail is one of the types of quails in India that shows significant sexual dimorphism. The males have a mixture of brown top feathers with black and white feathers that form stripes on the chest.

Males also have reddish brown faces with brown ear coverts and white supercilium towards the back of the neck. 

In contrast, females have pink underparts and light brown stripes with black markings on the upper parts. These birds live in rocky or shrub-filled dry areas, and females make their nests in shallow scrapes.

Jungle bush quails are abundant species that you might think are the rock bush quail. However, the easy way to differentiate both birds is by the sexual dimorphism both display.

Rock bush quails display less sexual dimorphism and certain features than jungle bush quails. For example, the call sounds of these birds sound like chee-chee-chuck when they move together in groups. 

Although when separated, you are likely to hear a sound like tiri-tiri-tiri. Like most quails, the jungle bush quail is an amazing pet that is friendly but doesn’t lay many eggs. Female jungle bush quails lay 4 to 8 eggs per clutch, and they incubate their eggs without the males.

8. Rock Bush Quail

The rock bush quail is found in peninsular parts of India and is an abundant quail species. These amazing birds are among the types of quail in India and look similar to the jungle bush quail. The rock bush quail has three subspecies found in different parts of India.

Furthermore, they move in small groups and are often noticed in flight together from under vegetation. Their call sounds like piping notes that start almost quietly and get louder.

Their feathers are dark brown and speckled with white and black colors. In addition, males have thin white eyebrows, dull brown chestnuts, and dark brown eye lines.

On the other hand, females look similar but have even duller feathers without barring in males. The most interesting thing about these birds is that they keep close ties. 

Also, you will likely spot them in small family groups in dry, rocky areas filled with shrubs.  They spend most of their time on the ground and are not migratory birds. Instead, they feed on insects, seeds, plant waste, and grains.

Finally, these types of quails in India require adequate care and proper feeding. You’ll get a long-time friend and companion if you take any as a pet.

9. Manipur Bush Quail

The Manipur bush quail is one of the types of quail found in India with many colorful features. You can find these birds in northeastern India living in damp grasslands, unlike rock bush quail that prefer dry, rocky areas.

You can also find these birds in Bangladesh inhabiting the same habitats found in northeastern India. However, these birds are constantly decreasing in population due to their decreasing habitats by humans.

Males have red faces, while females have grey faces, but both have similar plumage features. They are small dark grey quails with white eye stripes.

In addition, they have a mixture of black and yellowish-brown colors on their plumage. The Manipur bush quail moves in small groups of 5-10 while foraging and feeding. Which of these types of quail in India would you take as pets?

10. Argoondah Quail

This bird is among the types of quail in India that is a subspecies of the rock bush quail. These birds have similar features to the rock bush quail.

So when you see one of these birds, try to notice their features. Moreover, if you find the Argoondah and think it’s the rock bush quail, it’s okay.

Argoondah is the bird’s native name, commonly found in Madhya Pradesh southwards to Tamil Nadu. So that’s a wrap on our list of types of quail in India!


Quails are amazing birds, with each species having excellent features and breed qualities that make them unique. We’ve provided a list of types of quails in India to help you know all about quails endemic to India.

Most of these amazing birds have found their way into people’s homes as pets, while others are of great commercial use. 

However, whatever use you find for these great birds, ensure you take good care of them. Some of these birds are endangered because of harmful activities that place them on the verge of extinction.

These types of quails in India are simply amazing; their exceptional features and qualities say it all!  

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