We analysed data for the Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix) caught by the ringing program at Eilat, Southern Israel, to understand age and sex related phenology of migration and biometric differences in the only long-distance migratory Phasianidae in the western Palaearctic. The numbers of Quail caught during spring were higher than in the autumn seasons. We found great variation in the numbers of trapped birds between years both in spring and in autumn season. Furthermore, in spring, males were ringed significantly earlier than female Quail and adults ofboth sexes arrived significantly earlier than juveniles. Moreover, adult females had longer wing chords than had adult males, but we found no differences between first-year birds. We retrapped 22.4% of Quail during the spring migration seasons, which is a relatively large proportion in comparison with other species studied in Eilat. Our results indicate that Eilat is an important stopover site for the Quail populations crossing the Sahara desert during spring migration. This finding is supported by the fact that recaptured birds were in better condition than at their first capture, indicating staging behaviour by migrant Quails at Eilat.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - 24 Oct 2008|