The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Very few people on my gift giving list would be good recipients for birds of any type. I do not in any way suggest a parrot or finch or canary as a present for someone unless they have done their research, know what they are getting into, and have a hand in picking out the bird themselves.

However, button quail, or Chinese Painted Quail, might be suitable for more people than you think. They are quiet, mostly. A few calls now and then from males is the most noise they make. They don’t need a lot of room. They do need head clearance so they don’t kill themselves when scared and jumping straight up.


I put a flock of 6 siblings plus one unrelated male who got along with them on the Opportunity Drawing table at the last bird club meeting. The woman who selected them is going to give them to her father for their entertainment value. He won’t be interested in letting them hatch babies, so the eggs can be collected and either boiled to feed to other birds or simply discarded.

While reminding the club that the quail were available, I found out another member actually wanted them as well. So I talked to him after the meeting and he is willing to take my last clutch next week. Of course, he may be interested in breeding. Or he may be interested in the eggs for other birds. Either way, he’s smart enough to know that the birds will need unrelated matches in order to produce healthy chicks.


According to this web page, a single quail can be tamed easily and makes a great pet. There is one bird in the last flock who is a softer, lighter brown than is usual in my birds. I’m tempted to keep her and see if she can be tamed. Hoping she is female, of course, because I can put an extra girl in with one of my three couples.

No matter how this works out, I don’t think I will bring in too many more hatchlings. I have a couple hens who will sit tight and one that gets bored and wanders off to start a new clutch. I do my best to avoid her end of the aviary when I feed and water, but her personal space is vast for such a little bird.


Button quail are adorable enough to make anyone forget recent disappointments and make the future look okay. Remember, no downsizing through gifts to unsuspecting friends. Now, non-friends, that’s another story. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.

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