Latin name: Coturnix
Other names: Caille, Ortigas, Ortygas, Ortygometra
Category: Bird

Quails cannot be eaten, because they feed on poisonous seeds

General Attributes

Quails feed on poisonous seeds, so the ancients forbade anyone to eat them. They migrate over the sea at the end of summer. The Greeks call the quail ortygas because they were first found on the island of Ortygia (Delos). The leader of the quail flock is ortygometra, or "mother of quails." Quails seek a leader from another species of bird, because when the ortygometra is near the ground, it is attacked by the hawk.


The quail mother attacked by the hawk as she nears the earth represents the Christian who will be attacked by the devil if he approaches worldly things.