Birds of the Bible – Quail II


Brown Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora) by Ian

Brown Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora) by Ian

It has been almost two years since the Quail have been written about. Birds of the Bible – Quail was early in this blogs history, so decided to write more about them.

The Bible has four references to quail and they are all found in the Old Testament. They refer to the time that the Israelites were in the desert after they had left Egypt by way of the Red Sea. They had been complaining about their lack of food, so the LORD answered them with:

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. (Exodus 16:11-13 KJV)

So, their request was taken care of every morning and evening. Just as today, we have a promise:

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 KJV)

That incident took place on the 15th day of the second month after coming out of Egypt. Then right around the 20th day of the second month of the second year, they started complaining again about not having flesh to eat.

We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. (Numbers 11:5-6 KJV)

“Poor me! All we have to eat is manna, manna, manna.” Can you hear them? God wanted them to trust Him. God promises to meet our needs, not necessarily our wants. This is where the incident written about in the first article came about. They were well taken care of, even their shoes did not wear out in the 40 years they spent in the wilderness. Read Psalm 105 where it tells about all the LORD did for them. In Psalm 105:40 it says, “The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.”

Are we satisfied with what the Lord has provided or do we go around with a protruding lower lip saying, “Poor me!” I trust your lip is normal and that you can say along with Paul:

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11 KJV)

King Quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) Asian Blue by Kent Nickell

King Quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) by Kent Nickell

The Quail are numerous around the world and they are found in several families of birds. The Odontophoridae – New World Quail Family (34 members) includes not only Quails, but also 4 Bobwhites, 1 Francolin, and 4 Partridges. The Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family has 181 members. That is probably where the Quails mentioned in the wilderness came from because they are of the Old World area. That family has 13 Quail and a mix of other related birds including Turkeys, Pheasants and Peacocks. Both of these families are in the Galliformes Order.

Old World quail are the smallest birds in their family and are about 5 in (12-13 cm). The New World ones are 7-15 in (17-37 cm) long. They are very similar but are placed in the two families by ornithologists. They have short thick beaks with chunky bodies. Most do not make long flights and mainly fly when flushed. They are mostly seed and vegetation eaters, but some do eat insects.

Here in the U.S., the Northern Bobwhite’s call is very familiar.


2 thoughts on “Birds of the Bible – Quail II

  1. Pingback: The Quail | Animal Parables

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