Bible Birds – Quail Introduction

King Quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) Asian Blue by Kent Nickel

King Quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) Asian Blue by Kent Nickel

The Quail is a bird that is mentioned in the Bible in four verses. All the verses tell about the time when the Israelites, in the desert, complained about missing the things that they ate back in Egypt. The LORD was tired of the complaining and sent them some Quail to eat.

Now, are we supposed to complain or grumble about things not going our way? No! Sometimes we do it anyway and the results aren’t what we expected. This is what happened to the Israelites.

“And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high [almost 3 feet high] upon the face of the earth. And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.” (Numbers 11:31-32 KJV)

Have you ever eaten something, and then kept eating more, and then more? You should have stopped after the first part, right? This is what they did, sort of. The LORD gave them food, but they ate too much. Have you ever eaten too much and then became sick?

These people became sick and many of them died. It is sin that caused these Israelite to complain and not trust the Lord to take care of their needs. No, you are not going to get sick every time you complain, but you will make your parents and the Lord unhappy. Learn to obey your parents. “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” (Colossians 3:20 KJV)

Brown Quail(Coturnixypsilphora) by Ian

What is a Quail?

The Quail are in several families and are mid-sized birds generally placed in the order Galliformes. Old World quail are placed in the family Phasianidae, and New World quail are placed in the family Odontophoridae. Below are just two of the quail from each family.

The King Quail, an Old World quail, often is sold in the pet trade, and within this trade is commonly, though mistakenly, referred to as a “button quail”. Many of the common larger species are farm-raised for table food or egg consumption. In 2007, 40 million quail were produced in the U.S.

The Brown Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora), also an Old World quail and known as the swamp quailsilver quail and Tasmanian quail, is an Australasian true quail of the family Phasianidae. It is a small, ground-dwelling bird and is native to mainland Australia, Tasmania and Papua New Guinea and has been introduced to New Zealand and Fiji. Widespread and common throughout its large range

Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii) by Kent Nickel

The New World Quail Gambel’s quail (Callipepla gambelii) is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family. It inhabits the desert regions of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Sonora; also New Mexico-border Chihuahua and the Colorado River region of Baja California. The Gambel’s quail is named in honor of William Gambel, a 19th-century naturalist and explorer of the Southwestern United States. Favorites of mine because of their top feather.]

California Quail (Callipepla californica) ©WikiC

The California quail (Callipepla californica), also known as the California valley quail or valley quail, is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family. These birds have a curving crest or plume, made of six feathers, that droops forward: black in males and brown in females; the flanks are brown with white streaks. Males have a dark brown cap and a black face with a brown back, a grey-blue chest and a light brown belly. Females and immature birds are mainly grey-brown with a light-colored belly. Their closest relative is Gambel’s quail which has a more southerly distribution and, a longer crest at 2.5 in (6.4 cm), a brighter head and a scalier appearance.

The collective noun for a group of quail is a flock, covey or bevy.

Watch for more Bible Birds – Quail posts.

Other Links:

 

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Quail

King Quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) Asian Blue by Kent Nickell

King Quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) by Kent Nickell

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Quail

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)
The quail is about the size of a pigeon. It is called a bird of passage, because it does not always live in the same place, but spends the winter in one country, and in the spring flies away to another. In their journies, they fly together in very large flocks, as you have perhaps seen wild geese or pigeons do. A great many spend the summer north of the Black Sea, and when autumn comes they fly away to spend the winter in some warmer place, farther south. They usually start early some fine evening in August, when there is a north wind to help them on, and fly perhaps a hundred and fifty miles before morning. The people on the opposite shore of the Black Sea know about what time to look for them, and catch a great many of them for food.

Californian Quail by Ian

Californian Quail by Ian

God sometimes sent quails to the children of Israel when they were in the wilderness. Once they complained because they had no meat to eat, pretty soon after God had saved them from the hand of Pharaoh; and then he brought a great many quails into their camp, so that they had as many as they wanted for food. At another time, when they were on their journey, these ungrateful people complained again, and wished they were back in Egypt, where they could have “fish, and melons, and cucumbers,” as they said. Then God saw fit to send them quails again, though he was very much displeased with their wickedness; so much so that he sent a dreadful sickness among them, of which many died. The Bible says,

And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails; he that gathered least, gathered ten homers; and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

Painted Buttonquail (Turnix varius) by Ian

Painted Buttonquail (Turnix varius) by Ian

The number of these quails was very wonderful. They covered the ground all around the camp, and as far every way as a person could go in a “day’s journey,” by which they meant twenty miles or more. And they not only covered all that ground, but were piled upon each other, to the height of more than a yard. The people gathered great quantities of them; probably they intended to dry a part, which is still a custom in those hot and sandy countries. “He that gathered least,” we read, “gathered ten homers.” A homer was about eight bushels, or as much as an ass could carry at a load; and ten homers, of course, was about eighty bushels. You see how eager the people were to get them, for they could not even sleep at night through fear that they should not have as many as they wanted; so they stood up to gather them “all that day, and all that night, and all the next day.”

These things are several times spoken of in other parts of the Bible, especially in the 78th Psalm. It is there said,

He rained flesh upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea. And he let it fall in the midst of the camp, round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled, for he gave them their own desire; but while the meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them.

Perhaps it was not wrong for the children of Israel to ask for meat to eat, but God was displeased with them for their complaining spirit notwithstanding all his goodness; and although he gave them what they asked, it proved to be only a curse to them. This may teach us to be grateful for the thousand blessings that God has given us, and when we ask any thing from him, to be willing that he should deny us if he sees best.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Quail

Odontophoridae Family – New World Quail

Phasianidae Family – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies

Turnicidae – Buttonquail

Nave’s Topical Bible – Quail

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