[Fr., from Low L. quaquila; from Old Du. root of quack, because of its cry.] A bird of passage, the smallest of the Partridge family, common in the south of Europe, and in Asia, Africa and North America. Quails live in flocks, feed chiefly on insects, slugs, grains, and seeds, and are noted for taking long and fatiguing journeys. Immense flocks visit the countries along the Mediterranean, and large numbers are caught for food. The flesh is more juicy and delicate than that of the partridge.