Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Virginian Quail
VIRGINIAN QUAIL, the Ortyx Virginiana, a species of rasorial birds belonging to the family Odontophorinæ, and nearly allied to that of the partridges or Perdicidæ. In the genus Ortyx the edges of the beak are sinuous or wavy, and the wings have the third to the sixth quills longest. The outer toe is united to the inner at the base. The Virginian quail is also named the Virginian colin. It attains a length of 8 or 10 inches, and is of a reddish-brown hue, mingled with gray and black above, and yellowish white below. The head and breast are reddish brown and the chin pure white. The voice is clear, and the note resembles the words “bob-white” — a name often familiarly given to the bird. The Virginian quail feeds mostly on grains and inhabits open grounds, but in winter it approaches the habitations of man. The eggs may number as many as 24. The bird is trapped in great numbers in winter. Its flesh is highly esteemed.