Bob White Quail
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. bob white quail
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  • Scientific Name:  Colinus virginianus
  • Common Name/s:  BOB WHITE QUAIL.
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  21...Only one in Australia (C. v. virginianus)
  • Origin / Distribution:  United States of America and Mexico.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Diverse including farm land.
  • Status In Wild:  a
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Secure.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  a
  • Adult plumage: attained at about  4 months. 
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  12 months to 5 years.
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx.  8  years 
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic  /  Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations:  None in Australia.
  • Availability:  Bird dealers
  • Temperament:   They tend to be flighty and will fly vertically hitting their head on the roof.  They are usually suitable with finches and small parrots but as they may perch above ground at night in a planted aviary, this may interfere with nesting finches.  Wing flight clipping will help prevent this happening.  May breed year round in a suitable planted aviary.  The cock bird's call may upset neighbours particularly in the early morning.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour  (Approx.) $60
  • Description Of Adults: 
  1. Length: Approx. 200 - 225 mm (or approx.  8 - 9 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ):  Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Up to approx. 180 gms (or approx  6.5 ozs)
Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements:  Refer to " Quail " web page for general details on the housing of Quail or read on for specific details for this bird.

Compatible with most finches, small parrots, doves and pigeons. Best breeding results are with one pair per aviary.  Planted aviary is preferred.  Bob White quail should not be housed with other types of birds that spend a lot of time on the floor.  Problems can occur with finches etc. that spend a lot of time at floor level or use the floor space as their courtship, or mating site.

Australian quail generally do not use a perch either during the day or to roost on during the night.  Two of the introduced quail, the Californian and the Bobwhite will use a perch at night to roost.  This can cause problems during finch nesting season if the quail lands on a finch nest.  When the Bob whites are nesting and/or raising their clutch of young they usually stay on the ground with the young.  The young can fly by about 10 days.

Bob white quail can be noisy.  Quail that are noisy, especially in the morning, should be housed in an aviary most distant away from neighbours.

Diet / Feeding:   Refer to " Quail " web page for general details on the feeding of Quail or read on for specific details for this bird.

Good quality finch or small parrot mix  and vegetable green foods as per "Quail" web page.  Bob White quail are not reliant on live foods for good breeding results but will benefit if supplied during breeding season.  May eat some of the commercial poultry pellets.


  • Nesting months: May breed all year round if conditions are suitable.  Seasons spring to autumn are generally the most productive.
  • Nest location:  On the floor in a substantial nest usually at the back of the aviary in a secluded spot.
  • Nest material:  Dry grasses and leaves.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Breeding:  Egg Colour  White.  Clutch/s per year  2.  Eggs per nest - typically 12 - 16.  Varies widely, up to 20 or more.  Incubation  approx. 21 days.  Independent  approx.  4 weeks.

These birds are monogamous and the pair is left together throughout the year.

Young are best removed when they become independent so as to avoid aggression from a parent bird.  Removing the young also minimizes the young interfering with the breeding or roosting finches.

Many hens will lay lots of eggs but show no interest in incubating their eggs.  These eggs can be artificially incubated and hand raised.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues:  Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol  38  No. 5  May 1984  Page 111-112
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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