Birds that start with q are interesting creatures. Some of these birds, like the quetzal, are well known for their colorful plumage. Others, like the quail, are more commonly seen in the wild. Regardless of their appearance, all of these birds are fascinating animals to study.
In the article below we’ll look at 10 birds beginning with letter Q, learn about their color, habitat and eating habits. If you are planning a bird watching tour, consider adding any of these birds to your list.
List of Birds that start with Q
1. Quail Bird
Quail birds are small, plump, brown or gray birds that reside in the United States, mostly California.
They measure about 7 inches in length and weigh up to 0.3 lbs. Under the quail family, there are 6 different species;
Mountain quail: The most colorful bird in this family; gray, white and chestnut. Has an intriguing head plume.
Scaled quail: Known for their soft calls, this ground forager is a marvel to look at. From the elegant crest to the brownish-gray scaly-looking feather, the scaled quail is a true beauty.
California quail: These birds are known to visit most backyards in California. They also have a head plume which makes it easy for game hunters to identify them. These birds share nests.
Northern bobwhite: These are one of the most common game birds in the US. Unlike other birds, Northern bobwhites are not monogamous and can have up to 20 offspring in their lifetime.
Gambel’s quail: Plump with a forward facing crest. Measures up to 9 inches and features beautiful gray and chestnut plumage. Mostly found in Mohave.
Common quail: Also known as the European quail. They belong to the pheasant family and rarely fly. Females lay up to 13 spotted eggs that take up to 20 days to hatch.
These birds are often found near water sources such as streams and ponds. Quail birds feed on insects, seeds, and other small animals.
Quail birds are known to share nests, with a nest holding up to 28 eggs. Incubation takes up to 20 days and fledgling takes place when chicks are about 19 days old.
The quailfinch is a small that is found in open woodlands and scrublands of Africa. There are three main subspecies:
Black-chinned quailfinch: This bird belongs to the finch family. It’s characterized by a small body (4 inches) red beak, pale brown buff belly, and barred chest.
African quailfinch: Weighs up to 0.5 ounces and measures about 4 inches. Short tail, white eyering, dark upperparts and barred chest and belly.
Black-faced quailfinch: Red bill for eating seeds, white chin, dark plumage for males. Females are brown with white spectacles. This bird is sexually dimophic.
They are usually seen in pairs or small groups and are known for their quick movements and noisy calls. Quailfinches eat mostly seeds, but they will also take some insects.
They build cup-shaped nests out of grass and lay 3-4 eggs. These birds are shy and secretive and can be difficult to see.
3. Quailfinch indigobird
Ever heard of brood parasites? The quailfinch indigobird is one. This bird is endemic to Africa. It is a member of the Estrildidae family, which includes true finches and waxbills.
It is a sexually dimorphic species, with males being darker than females. Males are all black with pale purple legs, females are brown with gorgeous streaks, kinda like the house sparrow. Note their white bill.
This bird is often found in the company of the African quailfinch. It lays its eggs in the African quailfinch’s nest. They mainly eat grain and seeds.
Another group of birds that start with Q are the quail-plovers. Belonging to the genus turnicidae, this small bird is also found in parts of Africa. Boasting of a 3-inch wingspan, you’d be surprised to learn that like the other quail birds, this bird prefers the group.
You’ll find it hopping around, foraging for seeds and grain. Quail-plovers feature pale yellow legs and bill, the upperparts are mostly brown with streaks and cream underneath. Males are slightly lighter than the females.
Like other quail birds, they prefer scrubs and dry grasslands.
5. Quebracho crested tinamou
Long neck, curved bill, and large body, the quebracho crested tinamou is a beautiful bird that prefers dense scrubs.
Found in some dry forests of South America, this bird is a member of the Tinamidae family, which also includes the highland tinamou and grey tinamou.
This crested bird is approximately 15 inches long and spots grayish-brown upperparts and whitish underneath. Notice the brown brow that extends to its neck; beautiful.
Also, these have a noticeable crest. They are known for their unique calls “tooww-wee”. The quebracho crested tinamou is a shy bird and is difficult to see in the wild.
Related: Check out some common bird names
6. Quail dove
Preferring tropical South America, quail doves come from the dove and pigeon family. This bird with a small head prefers dense forests where it can easily hide from its predators.
These birds feature a reddish-brown back, gray head with hints of glossy green, and gray underbelly. Notice the white stripe under its eye.
Quail doves primarily feed on seeds and can grow up to 11 inches. Females lay two buff-colored eggs that are incubated for 2 weeks. Males and females share parenting responsibilities.
7. Queen victoria riflebird
I think this is the most beautiful and exotic bird on this list of birds that start with Q. The Queen Victoria Riflebird is a small bird that is known for its dramatic dance. It belongs to the birds of paradise family which includes other exotic birds such as the short-tailed paradigalla and Ribbon-tailed astrapia.
The bird measures about 9.8 inches and are sexually dimorphic. Males are almost all black with hints of metallic green on their tail and head. Note the tails are short. Females have brown upperparts and are buff underneath.
How long do the Queen Victoria riflebird live? About 5 year and prefer a solitary life. Breeding season starts in September through February with the females laying 2 eggs that take about 2 week to hatch. They are commonly found in Australia.
Does the quetzal bird still exist? Yes, you’ll find it in pine mountains in Mexico. Is a quetzal bird rare? Yes, especially because of their green plumage that allows them to blend into the background. But, with good binoculars, you can spot them easily.
I think quetzal birds are the most beautiful birds on this list. Found in the forests of Central and South America, they have a striking appearance. These birds feature a bright green plumage with black tips on their wings. Bellies are mostly bright red.
Their tails are a marvel; long, thin tails that can measure up to 20 inches. Note the small yellow beak. The Quetzal is also one of the most interesting birds in terms of behavior. This bird can fly for up to 310 miles (500 km) without landing, making it one of the fastest fliers in the animal kingdom.
9. Quelea cardinal
Found in grassy habitats, quelea cardinals are red-headed birds that are small in size; same size as a house sparrow. Females are duller with a yellowish face and do not have the red plumage.
This small bird is a social bird, preferring to stay in colonies.
10. Queen Whydah
Another brood parasite that is found in grasslands of South Africa is the Queen whydah. This gorgeous birds is small, active and very loud, producing a series of “chee” and “zwiit” sounds.
Queen Whydah has a small bright orange beak and is white and black in color. What really makes it stand out is the long thin tail in males. Females have very different coloring; mostly brown and streaks.
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