Status: No accepted records.
Taxonomy: Japanese Quail (C. japonica) was formerly considered a subspecies of Common Quail (C. coturnix), but currently is treated as a separate species (Madge and McGowan 2002, McGowan and Kirwan 2020).
Earlier accounts of this species in Nebraska (Mathison and Mathison 1960, Shickley 1968) referred to these birds as “Coturnix” (C. coturnix), but Nebraska releases in the 1950s were of farm-raised birds descended from Japanese birds, C. japonica (Wetherbee 1961). The name Japanese Quail was correctly used recently by Mollhoff (2022).
Comments: There were large releases in the late 1950s and early 1960s in several counties involving some 76,600 birds raised on game farms for purchase by NGPC (Mathison and Mathison 1960, Wetherbee 1961). Many migrated southward out of Nebraska, including one recovered in Chihuahua, Mexico, but some nesting occurred in Nebraska; Mollhoff (2022) mentions a mounted pair with one egg from a set of two received from NGPC biologist D. Snyder on display at HMM (#29092) and dated Apr 1957. Shickley (1968) reported two were shot in Lincoln Co in fall 1962, possibly wandering there from releases in Frontier and Dawson Co.
Wetherbee (1961) noted that “North American band recoveries show direct southerly autumnal migration of birds released in spring, summer and fall. … Six of thirty
recoveries of Common Coturnix released in Nebraska during 1957 were taken in Texas.”
There have been no reports since 1962.
HMM: Hastings Municipal Museum
NGPC: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2021. IOC World Bird List (v 11.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.11.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
Madge, S.C. and McGowan, P. 2002. Pheasants, Partridges and Grouse, including Buttonquails, Sandgrouse and Allies. Christopher Helm, London.
Mathisen, J., and A. Mathisen. 1960. History and status of introduced game birds in Nebraska. NBR 28: 19-22.
McGowan, P.J.K. and G.M. Kirwan. 2020. Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D.A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.japqua.01.
Mollhoff, W.J. 2022. Nest records of Nebraska birds. Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union Occasional Paper Number 9.
Shickley, G. 1968. Additions to Lincoln County checklist. NBR 36: 54-57.
Wetherbee, D.K. 1961. Investigations in the Life History of the Common Coturnix. American Midland Naturalist 65: 168-186.
Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen. 2022. [Japanese Quail] (Coturnix japonica). In Birds of Nebraska — Online. www.BirdsofNebraska.org.
Birds of Nebraska – Online
Updated 8 Mar 2022