What Are The Differences Between Pheasants And Quail? 2023

If you’re a fan of birds, you’ve been intrigued by the idea of keeping pheasants and Quail. While they’re both game birds from similar families, there are quite a few differences between these two species, from their living arrangements to their diet. In this post, we’ll discuss that what are the differences between Pheasants and Quail so that you can better understand each breed before deciding which is best for your animal collection.

What Are The Differences Between Pheasants And Quail?

pheasant vs Quail

One of the biggest differences between pheasants and Quail is their size. Pheasants are larger than Quail, and they have longer legs and tails.

While some pheasant species can grow up to two feet in length, Quail typically stay within a much smaller range, usually measuring around six inches long.

This size difference also influences their diet; while pheasants are omnivorous, Quail tend to stick to a plant-based diet.

Pheasants are also significantly louder than Quail; they make loud crowing noises that can be heard from a distance, while Quail tend to stay relatively quiet.

This is one of the main reasons pheasants are sought-after for hunting; their calls help hunters easily locate them. Quail, however, does not make noise that carries as far.

Both pheasants and Quail can be great additions to any bird collection. Knowing the differences between these two species is important to determine which breed best suits your needs.

Pheasants are great for hunters, while Quail make a more suitable option if you’re looking for a quieter bird. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference!

10 Most Common Differences Between Pheasants And Quail

1. Size: Pheasants are larger than Quail, with some species growing up to two feet in length, while Quail typically measure around six inches long.

2. Diet: While pheasants are omnivorous, Quail typically stick to a plant-based diet.

3. Living Arrangements: Pheasants prefer to live in open areas, such as meadows or fields, while Quail prefer more enclosed spaces, like forests and brushy areas.

4. Nesting Habits: Pheasants typically build their nests on the ground, whereas Quail are cavity nesters and like to nest inside tree hollows or other enclosed spaces.

5. Noise: Pheasants make loud crowing noises that can be heard from a distance, while Quail tend to stay relatively quiet.

6. Coloring: While both pheasants and Quail have colorful feathers, the coloring is typically more vibrant on pheasants.

7. Egg Laying: Pheasants typically lay larger eggs than Quail, usually taking longer to incubate and hatch.

8. Flight: Pheasants are strong fliers that can reach up to 40 miles per hour, while Quail cannot fly as fast and are better suited for short distances.

9. Lifespan: Pheasants typically live longer than Quail, with some species living up to 10 years in the wild.

10. Population: Quail are much more abundant than pheasants, as their population numbers remain relatively steady even when their habitats are disrupted.

10 Most Common Similarities Between Pheasants And Quail

1. Both pheasants and Quail are ground-dwelling birds that typically inhabit open woodland and grassland habitats.

2. They have a wide variety of colors, from bright plumage to drab browns and grays.

3. Both species are omnivorous, meaning they eat plants and animals.

4. Pheasants and Quail are hunted for their meat in some parts of the world.

5. Both species typically have pointed crests on their heads, which can be used to distinguish them from other birds.

6. Pheasants and Quail have powerful legs that allow them to make quick escapes if they sense danger.

7. Both birds can fly, though they can only fly short distances and prefer to walk or run.

8. Pheasants and Quail build nests on the ground with various materials like grasses, leaves, and feathers for insulation.

9. Both species are social creatures and often gather in groups for protection.

10. Pheasants and Quail both produce a variety of vocalizations to communicate with each other.

No matter the differences, pheasants, and Quail have many similarities that make them unique creatures of the avian world. Whether a hunter or an ornithologist, learning more about these birds can give you a better appreciation for what nature offers.

Most Common Types Of Pheasants

Pheasants are a large, diverse family of birds, and many different species of Pheasant are found worldwide. Here are some of the most common types of pheasants you may come across:

Ring-Necked Pheasant – 

Ring-Necked Pheasant

Ring-Necked Pheasant is probably the most recognizable breed, as it has a reddish-brown body, a black and white barred tail, and a distinct white ring around its neck. It is native to Europe, Asia, and parts of North America.

Golden Pheasant – 

Golden Pheasant

The Golden Pheasant is the most vivid of all the pheasants with its bright yellow-orange head and neck and its long tail of red, yellow, orange, black, white, and blue feathers. It is native to western China.

Silver Pheasant – 

Silver Pheasant

Unlike the Golden Pheasant, the Silver Pheasant has a grayish-black body with white spots on its wings and tail. Its most distinctive feature is its deep blue head and neck. This species is native to eastern China, Vietnam, and Laos.

Crested Fireback – 

Crested Fireback Pheasant

The Crested Fireback has a black body with white stripes on its wings, tail, and back and a long crest of feathers on its head. It is native to the wetter parts of Southeast Asia.

Eared Pheasant – 

Eared Pheasant

The Eared Pheasant is one of the smallest species of pheasants, with a mostly black body and its most distinguishing feature being its long ears that droop down from either side of its head. It is native to Central America.

Kalij Pheasant – 

Kalij Pheasant

The Kalij Pheasant is a medium-sized pheasant with a black body and head, white neck ruff, and bright red face wattles. It is native to India and Nepal.

Reeves’s Pheasant – 

Reeves's Pheasant

This spectacular breed has a golden body, green wings and tail, and a white saddle across its shoulders. It is native to the mountains of southwest China.

Cheer Pheasant – 

Cheer Pheasant

The Cheer Pheasant has a black body with a yellowish-orange crest on its head and tail and white spots on its wings. It is native to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Tibet.

These are just a few of the many pheasants found worldwide, and each species has unique characteristics and habitats. Regardless of which type you come across, they all make beautiful additions to any aviary or backyard habitat.

Most Common Pheasant Characteristics

Pheasants are a type of bird that belongs to the family Phasianidae. They are identified by their long, sharp beaks, bright feathers, and chunky bodies. Pheasants have a variety of characteristics that make them unique among birds. Here are some of the most common Pheasant characteristics mentioned below:

1. Size: Depending on the species, pheasants can range in size from 10 to 28 inches (25-70 cm) long and weigh between 1 and 3 pounds (0.5-1.3 kg).

2. Color: Pheasants are known for their bright colors, as they have a variety of shades and hues in their feathers. The most common colors found on pheasants include browns, greens, reds, blues, whites, and blacks.

3. Social Behaviors: Pheasants are known to be social creatures, and they often form large flocks to feed or migrate. This behavior benefits their species, as it helps them stay safe from predators.

4. Reproduction: Pheasants tend to reproduce in the springtime, with females laying up to 15 eggs in clutches. The chicks will hatch after about 24 days, and they can fly by the time they are two weeks old.

5. Habitat: Pheasants can be found in various habitats, including open fields, woodlands, grasslands, and farmlands. They also inhabit wetlands and other areas near water sources.

Most Common Types Of Quail

Here are some of the most common Quail species you may come across:

Japanese Quail – 

Japanese Quail

The Japanese Quail is a small, plump bird native to East Asia. These birds are popular as pets and are also used in scientific research due to their short lifespan.

Japanese quails have small bodies covered with mottled brown feathers and a distinctive white stripe around the eyes. They can live up to 5 years in captivity but are usually kept for 2-3 years.

Coturnix Quail – 

Coturnix Quail

Also known as French Quail or Pharaoh quail, this species is the most commonly raised type of Quail in the United States. Coturnix quails have a small, compact body and blackish-brown feathers. They can live for up to 8 years in captivity and are considered one of the hardiest quail species.

Bobwhite Quail – 

Bobwhite Quail

The bobwhite quail is native to North America and is a popular game bird due to its large size and good-tasting meat. These birds have reddish-brown feathers with white stripes and patches and can live for up to 10 years in captivity.

California Quail – 

California Quail

California Quail is native to the western United States and has a distinctive black head with a white plume. These quails have gray-brown feathers with white spots and can live for up to 8 years in captivity.

Mountain Quail – 

Mountain Quail

The mountain quail is native to western North America and has distinctive long plumes on top of its head. These birds have gray-brown feathers with white stripes and spots and can live for up to 8 years in captivity.

No matter which Quail species you raise, providing them with a safe, comfortable home and plenty of fresh food and water is important. With the proper care, these birds can be rewarding pets for many years.


Q: What is the diet of each bird? 

A: Pheasants feed primarily on seeds, invertebrates, and some vegetation. Quail eat both plant matter and small insects.

Q: How long do these birds live? 

A: Pheasants typically have a lifespan of around 4–6 years in the wild, while quails usually live for about 3–4 years.

Q: What is the typical behavior of a pheasant or Quail? 

A: Pheasants are usually diurnal, meaning they are active during the day, whereas quails are crepuscular, which means they are most active around dawn and dusk. Quail also have a flocking behavior, with males leading the group and protecting it from predators. Pheasants prefer to remain solitary and can be seen foraging alone in open fields.

What is the average lifespan of a male Pheasant?

A: The average lifespan of a male pheasant is typically between 2-3 years in the wild. In captivity, however, their lifespan may be extended to 5 years or more. Male pheasants that are well taken care of and provided with a balanced diet, plenty of exercises, and a safe environment can live significantly longer than those in the wild.


Pheasants and Quail are two popular game birds that have been hunted for centuries. They both make great additions to any aviary or backyard habitat and provide a unique look to any landscape.

Pheasants typically live longer than Quail, while Quail often flock together in search of food. Understanding the differences between these two species is important before introducing them to your aviary or backyard habitat. With the proper care, pheasants and Quail can be rewarding pets for many years.

Junaid Swati

Leave a Comment