What Sounds Do Quails Make? (Meanings + Facts)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

Quails are known for their different sounds which range from the chi-ca-go kind of sound of the California quail to the chip-chip of the gambel quail.

These sounds are the quail’s ways of communicating with each other.

Some flock owners hear their flock making these calls to each other and often wonder what they are doing, however it is easy to learn what the quails mean.

Today’s article will be discussing the different sounds made by quails, whether they make a lot of noise and if they sing or call out at night

What Sounds Do Quails Make?

What Sounds Do Quails Make

1. Chi-ca-go Sound

This sound is usually made by the Californian quail. It is usually used as a way of communicating a rallying together for the birds.

The sound is usually made when a covey is about to move from their current location.

This sound is also made when a bird has gotten separated from the others. It makes the sound repeatedly so the others can hear the cry and reply to him. 

2. Pit-pit-pit

A repeated pit-pit-pit sound from a Californian means it is warning other quails to imminent danger.

California quails can make sounds with their mates as the male makes short shrill sounds, while the female makes the Chi-ca-go call.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on keeping quails as pets

3. Gambel 3-4 note call

This is the call made by the Gambel quail when they have been separated from members of the covey.

4. Chip-chip-chip Sound

The chip-chip-chip sound is always made when a bird sees potential danger and he immediately sounds the call to alert other birds and covey members.

5. Crear-crear Sound

This is the Gambel’s trouble call which signifies that trouble is upon them. The crear-crear-crear sound or a squawk is made when they have to go into hiding or take wing for flight.

6. Kaw Sound

The Gambel male quail uses the kaw or cow call to announce availability and readiness to mate to the ladies.

Gambel quails are known for staying in tree branches from where they make the call to attract the ladies.

After this they go through a series of other activities before the female quail is impressed and allows them to mate.

Quails can also sing to each other as a form of communication especially when they are not visible to each other.

Sometimes a male rooster begins the singsong and then other roosters will join in and begin what is known as antiphonal calling.

Do Quails Make A Lot Of Noise?

Quails make sounds and emit songs like most birds however they aren’t as loud as roosters with their cuckoos.

The level of noise the quail makes is dependent on the species. Cortunix quails are usually very quiet with the rooster’s calls being soft.

Knowing the exact reason why your quails can be making a lot of calls is also fundamental to anticipating the behavior and stopping it.

Quails are generally more noisy during the breeding season as the unpaired males are trying to attract the females for mating while also trying to establish their territory.

If the birds are in separate cages with the 1 to 4 rooster to female ratio the noise would be seriously reduced.

The quails are also more likely to make noise when they are overcrowded so try as much as possible to space out your birds.

Let each bird have 1 square feet to itself so they can move freely and reach their food and water cans easily.

The female hens are calmer and only make sounds with their male mate or when they are mating.

The females could also be anxious about laying her eggs especially when there are no nesting boxes available.

When all these  issues are fixed, your quails will be quiet and would only need to make communication when necessary.

Also check out this article on how much space quails need

Do Quails Quack?

Quacking is the sound made by ducks, especially female ducks, the males mainly huff and hiss and that’s the only sound they can make.

Quails do not quack, they have a range of sounds they make but quacking is not one of them.

Ducks are quite familiar for their loud quacking sound which many a owner has complained of being disturbing

Do Quails Sing At Night?

Quails sing at night though it is not a very popular phenomenon as the bird is not a nocturnal bird.

Most quails do not sing at night except they discover something wrong or are trying to get a mate.

Why Do Quails Call At Night?

A major reason for quails calling out at night is during the breeding season for mating purposes.

Quails make the most noise during the breeding seasons which are in the warmer months sometimes ranging from March – September.

During this period, unpaired adult males will start to call to the females to attract them to become their mates.

They go through a series of activities and rituals which includes nibbling on food, lowering their heads and puffing out their shoulders.

They continue to do and engage in all this behavior until a female agrees to mate with them.

During the periods when they have not found a mate, the male rooster will call both during the day and sometimes at night.

The belief is, the calls are louder and can carry longer distances to the females at night.

Another reason for quails making sounds at night could be the fat that they notice an intruder.

Once they see something that makes them uncomfortable they’ll call out to alert the others, just as they do out in the wild.


Learning about quails is always fun to look forward to. Every bird has its own different sounds which they make on different occasions.

The quails chi-ca-go and crear-crear are just examples of sounds that the birds make. They also communicate during their mating season, when they sense danger and when they need to get the family on the road again.

Quails are fun animals to keep as poultry and also rear as pets.

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About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


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