Exploring Quail Meaning, Messages and Quail Symbolism
I got an email from a grand pen-pal (thanks Lalee!) the other day asking me about bird meaning – specifically, quail symbolism. I was sorry (and a little surprised) I had nothing to offer her on the website about the meaning of the quail. Consider this oversight rectified! The following is a question about what kind of messages or meanings the quail might have when we encounter these bouncing babies in our midst…
Question About Quail Meaning
“Hi Avia, Yesterday I consulted your site about QUAIL! 🙂 There were two in our backyard (Hooray! We’ve been trying to entice them for months into our front yard (quail block of food hidden in the enormous brittlebush), but this morning, they appeared in the backyard. Very exciting. And since there had been some major changes in my world, I was of course wondering what those two quail were telling me. Seriously do not know what I would do without your website. Keep writing!! Gratefully, ~Lalee .”
Avia’s Response to
“Quail Messages and Meaning of the Quail”
Thanks for writing in, and thanks also for your awesome weekly haiku delights! I highly encourage everyone to get Lalee’s weekly haiku from her website, HaikuThursday.com
Okay, onward to quail meanings….I’m stunned I don’t have anything on my website about the symbolic meaning of the quail! My bad! No worries…thanks to your question, here are some ideas about quail meaning for you and anybody else who might be curious about a quail encounter.
First off, when we encounter ANY creature in our environment – it’s always a great idea to pay close attention because 99.9% of the time, there is a message for us in this encounter. And, 100% of the time we can find deep meaning in our creature-connections.
When we tune in, and start to interpret messages and meanings from the bird realm, the best place to start is to contemplate the uncommon attributes of the creature. We can start to ask questions like…
Do they have a signature call? What does that say about our own communication?
Do they require a specific environment? What does that say about our home, work-place, community?
Maybe they have unusual hunting habits. How does that speak to our ability to hunt our own resources?
You get the idea…so here are some thoughts about quail meaning and quail messages based on key features these cuties possess.
Suggestions About Symbolic Quail Meaning and Quail Messages
Hunker Down: In this case we can all agree most birds fly. Quails fly…sure, but they are mostly ground-dwelling birds. Rather than exist in trees, they build their nests and lay eggs on the ground. They take advantage of tall grasses for cover and utilize clumps of vegetation for protection and nesting. Interestingly, quails don’t like to wander from their headquarters. They typically stay within 20-40 acres of their nesting area. All this prompts us to think about our own attitude and behavior when it comes to home life, being stable, and getting back to our ‘grass roots’.
When the quail appears to us, it’s often a message that asks:
- “Is it time to focus more on my home life?”
- “Do I need to get more grounded?”
- “What do I have around the home that I can repurpose to my advantage?”
Essentially, the ‘homing’ behavior of the quail reminds us to get our needs met where we live. Use resources around the house instead of buying new stuff. Concentrate on creating peace and tranquility within the home. Maybe you’ve wandered too far from your roots…quail messages encourage us to return to our foundations for grounding and reconnection.
Quail Messages and Meanings (Continued)
Psyche! Fooled You!: Quails are tasty treats for tons of predators. In fact, they are one of the most popularly hunted birds by human and beast alike. Bummer. But thankfully, the quail has clever strategies for avoiding capture and consumption. Mostly, they protect themselves in numbers. They have almost a military strategy for having one group (a group of quails is known as a bevy, by the way) make noises and rustlings while a separate group sneaks away to safer spaces. Then, the safe group follows suit so the first distraction team can do the same and escape to better cover. Old bait and switch routine. Very cunning!
Quails have another neat maneuver to dissuade predators. A bunch of them will form a circle with their patooties pointing in the center and their beaks pointing out. Essentially, they form a wagon-wheel formation with their bodies. When trouble comes they explode in unison creating a big hullabaloo and a cacophony of quail-calls. The effect is startling, and super-effective at scaring away predators.
Last but not least, another one of their most effective survival tactics is just RUN! Yup, quails might be cocky, but they are certainly not too proud to run away when they know they’re in trouble. These shrewd and sneaky survival maneuvers are cues for us to pay attention to our own methods for surviving, living, self-protection, etc.
In this way, the meaning of the quail and quail messages might be prompting questions like:
- “How can I re-approach my strategies in life that give me better advantage?”
- “Should I consider ‘safety in numbers’ in my situation?
- “If so, how can I join with others I trust so we can come up with win-win maneuvers for our best success?”
- “Is this situation too much for me right now? Is it time to walk away?”
Hot to Handle!: It might not seem obvious, but a big part of the meaning of the quail deals with sensuality. These are some really passionate birds, and they have impressive mating rituals. In fact, that funky puff on the male’s head? It’s called a plume; although it may appear a little goofy to some, it is a huge turn-on for potential mates in the quail clan.
The proof of their amorous ways is evident in the tremendous amount of eggs they lay…up to 300 eggs a year! That’s almost more than their chicken cousins!
Although they are great at mating and reproducing, quails don’t typically keep a mate for life. Most quail breeds prefer to sample from the whole sugar bowl rather than keep just one sugar cube. So what kind of meaning and messages might this have for us in terms of love and connection? Well, in aspects of love, quail messages often say something like: “Life is short. Love fiercely. Live passionately. Repeat. Repeat Repeat!”
Here are a few questions we might ask ourselves regarding the meaning of the quail and love/relationships:
- “Is it time to spice up the sensuality in my relationship? How can I kick up the passion?”
- “Are my relationships producing enough benefits and positive results? Am I getting what I need from this relationship?”
- “Is it time to seek out pleasure in my life?”
- “Should I consider a different partner(s)?”
These are just a few suggestions we can think about when we encounter this remarkable bird. Maybe the following information on cultural views on the meaning of the quail might further inspire you…
Quail Meaning and Quail Symbolism from Myth, Legend and Culture
China: Since ancient times, quail symbolism has been associated with the yang principle in Chinese culture. The concept of yin and yang is about balancing polarities. Yang is the energy that embodies things like: Masculinity, Drive, Assertion, Expression, etc. The yang principle, and quail meaning is also connected with the sun. As a sun symbol, the quail is symbolic of life, creation, growth, passion and desire. It is an illuminating figure in Chinese myth and legend. The quail is considered a symbol of growth, renewal, luck and fertility.
India: In written Vedic myths (ancient Sanskit texts known as the Vedas) there is a tale that tells of a quail named Vartika. This quail was swallowed by a nary-do-well wolf. On the surface, this might not seem like a big deal, but the quail Vartika was the bestower of sunlight to the land. She was also responsible for controlling sunsets and sunrises – essentially she governed time and separation between day and night. Suddenly a quail turning into lunch for the greedy-gobbling wolf becomes a huge deal, eh? Luckily, the Ashvins came to her rescue and were able to re-establish the harmony between dusk and dawn. The Ashvins are horse-headed twin gods. They are thought to oversee heaven and earth. They needed Vartika the quail to be rescued in order to maintain a balance between night and day, heaven and earth. So, they wrestled the wolf, freed Vartika the quail. Consequently, the world was saved by returning the cycles of sunlight back to the land. Symbolically, quail meaning in this myth speaks to themes of resurrection, hope and renewal. It makes a statement that even when we are swallowed up by darkness, we must always hope for the light to return and balance to be re-established.
Biblical: In Exodus 16, we learn of the plight of the Israelites when Moses leads them through the Sinai Desert. Most of us are familiar with this account, and most of us remember they were able to survive those 40 years of wandering due to manna God provided from the heavens. What most might NOT know is that they were also aided by the quail. To this day, the quail is considered a symbol of provision, a sign of miracles, and proof of God’s care and concern for His people. Interestingly, Exodus also describes the provision of quail and manna was just enough..nothing was wasted, and there was no one shorted. Everybody had just the right amount. In terms of quail meaning, I think that’s really symbolic too. It reminds us to use our resources wisely, as well as to keep faith our needs will be met.
Greek: The meaning of the quail is strongly associated with the return of springtime in ancient Greek mythology. This has a lot to do with them returning in droves and reproducing like crazy around this time of year. Nevertheless, spring is symbolic of fertility, new life, growth and renewal – and by association – so is the quail. The quail is connected with Zeus in Greek myth. If you’re familiar with Zeus’ escapades, then you know it was common for him to go philandering. Such was the case with Asteria, one of the Titans, she was the goddess of oracles, divination and dreams. Asteria turned herself into a quail in order to stop Zeus’ sexual advances. Clever bird! The symbolic lesson from the quail here? Well, as mentioned earlier, the quail knows how to escape a predator with skill. This quail myth might be a lesson that reminds us sometimes it might be better to flee from threat (and ancient horny Greek gods) rather than maneuver a way out of harm’s way.
Take Away Points about the Meaning of the Quail and Quail Messages
Here are some parting thoughts about what the quail might be communicating to you when you encounter it, and ideas about quail meaning in your life…
- The quail reminds us to find safety in numbers when it comes to protecting ourselves, our territory and our investments.
- While working with others, the quail illustrates how we can use teamwork to strategize and create solutions that result in equal success for all involved.
- Quail sightings are often a clue we might need to add a bit of passion to our lives and/or relationships.
- As a cultural symbol, the quail is often a representative of renewal, rebirth, balance and harmony – those are big take-away points for all of us!
- In religious accounts, the quail shows up as a symbol of hope and provision. It is a reminder that our darkest hour is the best time to hold strong to our faith.
In conclusion, I sincerely hope these thoughts about the meaning of the quail and suggestions about potential quail messages has been illuminating and helpful to you.
As always thanks so much for reading. And, if you liked this article on quail symbolism, I would be delighted if you shared it on your social networks! Thanks!
Bright quail blessings to you!
© Copyrighted. All Rights Reserved.
Other Articles of Interest on This Website
Symbolic Pheasant Meaning
The pheasant is a kissing-cousin to the quail. So, if this article on the symbolic meaning of the quail piqued your interest, then you might want to take a look at the deeper meaning of the pheasant here.
Symbolic Rooster Meaning
Rooster symbol meanings are all about fanning out with brilliance and showing the world your shimmering facets of personality. Get more about the symbolic meaning of the rooster here.
Bird Totem Meanings
Air Animal Totems have a penchant for assisting us in matters of higher knowledge. Air being the most ethereal of elements, it’s understandable that the creatures who inhabit it are able to lend the best understanding of its invisible ways. Get a whole list of bird totems and their meanings here.