Chukar vs. Quail: What Are 8 Key Differences?

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: September 14, 2023
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The chukar partridge, or chukar/chakor for short, is a Palearctic upland gamebird in the Phasianidae family. This bird inhabits sections of the Middle East and Asia’s temperate regions. Alternatively, several genera of medium-sized birds are together referred to as quail, in the order Galliformes. Frequently, people wonder what the primary distinctions are between these two game birds. In this essay, we will reveal the differences between chukar vs. quail!

Chukar vs. Quail: A Comparison 

Chukar and quails are both game birds.
Key DifferencesChukarQuail
Size13 to 14 inches Tall; Up to 20 oz 5-7 Inches Tall; Up to 1lb
ColorsGray-And-Brown Coat And A White-Striped, Black FaceWhite Stripes on Brown Flanks; Gray and Brown
Physical FeaturesChubby Body; Small Round HeadShort, Stocky Body; Long Pointed Wings
DangerPrey on Larger Birds/Animals; Males Can Attack HumansTypically Docile; Sometimes Kept as Pets
DietSeeds, Grasses, InsectsOmnivore; Both Plants and Animals
Lifespan3 to 5 Years1 to 6 Years
HabitatsMiddle East; Asia and ChinaEverywhere but Antarctica
HabitsForm Small Groups; Stay in Low Terrain Outside of NestingCongregate in Flocks; Fly up to 40 mph

Key Differences Between Chukar vs. Quail

Birds that eat ticks: Quail

Quails eat insects, including ticks.


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The key differences between a chukar and a quail are size, appearance, physical features, lifespan, habitat and habits.

Both quail and chukar are game birds, which means it is legal to hunt them in the U.S. according to certain laws. The quail is a little game bird with a short tail that is linked to chukar partridges through the families Phasianidae and Odontophoridae. The Alectoris chukar is a gallinaceous game bird related to pheasants, grouse, and quail. Let’s compare the chukar and the quail in further detail below!


Adult quails weigh up to one pound and stand approximately between 5-7 inches in height. The chukar is a ground-dwelling bird that weighs approximately 20 ounces and reaches 14 to 15 inches in length.


Mountain quail has white stripes on brown sides and is primarily gray and rich brown, as opposed to sandy brown. Chukars are brown with black vertical bands. A dark ring around the cheek and throat via the eyes. A red bill and eye ring complete the look. Quails have a gray-and-brown coat and a white-striped, black face. Females have lighter skin and no scars. Both sexes have white, creamy, and chestnut bellies.

Physical Features

Quails, which are little birds, are related to pheasants and partridges. They have a characteristic body shape, consisting of a short, stocky body and long, pointed wings. Approximately 20 wild species of quail exist throughout the world, and approximately 70 kinds are domestic fowl.

Chukars resemble chickens in that they possess a chubby bodies and short, round heads. A black eyeliner that extends around the neck, a cream-colored neck, a red bill, and dramatic striping on the sides characterize this bird.


Even larger animals are prey for the chukar partridge. However, if spooked they will typically flee. Some male species attack larger birds, animals, and even humans with their spurs.

Although some quails are antagonistic, the majority are kind, easy to care for, full of character, and delightful to play with. Coturnix quails are good pets for this reason.


Male Blue-breasted Quail (Coturnix chinensis)

Quails are omnivores, eating seeds and leafy greens.

©Aviceda / Creative Commons

The quail is an omnivore, meaning it consumes both plants and animals. It mainly eats seeds and leafy greens. Chukars consume seeds, delicate fresh grasses, and shrubs, in addition to insects. Cheatgrass is prevalent throughout a substantial portion of the chukars’ territory, which is a major factor in their successful establishment.


Generally, quails make excellent pets and can generate healthy eggs and meat. They are strong, vigorous birds that can live up to six years and are simple to feed and care for. In the wild, rarely does a quail reach old age. Under one year is the average lifespan. The lifespan of chukars ranges between three and five years. However, once they hatch, these birds are vulnerable to a variety of threats as a species.



Chukar resides throughout Middle East Asia and China.

©Martin Pelanek/

Chukars live in the Middle East, throughout Asia and China. They typically live in rough terrains and extremely wild habitats. These areas feature steep green valleys, rocky ledges, and talus slopes. At any time during the hot, dry summer and fall, you can find chukars congregating near bodies of water.

Apart from Antarctica, quail live all around the world in ecosystems that are surprisingly harsh and inhospitable. They prefer mountainous areas with rocky outcrops and desert margins. Most of the places they live are either semi-arid or desert, with little to no rain.


For most of their life, quail congregate in small flocks of eight to 25 individuals. Quail frequently flies at speeds between 30 and 40 mph. Once in the mornings and once in the evenings, quail forage. Chukars typically form small groups of no more than ten birds. Outside the nesting season, they live in green meadows and valleys in the lower reaches of the mountains.

Wrapping Up Chukar vs. Quail

Brown Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora) Dayboro, SE Queensland, Australia

People hunt quails for food.

©Aviceda / Creative Commons

The partridge’s flanks have distinct black-and-white bars, and its black-and-white eye-and-necklace necklace protects the white of its throat. There are no black stripes on the flanks of the mountain quail, which contrasts with the chukar’s white stripes on brown flanks. Chukars fly more efficiently than other birds of prey. People hunt both game birds for food. Chukar has a superior flavor to pheasant because of its larger size and ability to fly.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Martin Pelanek/

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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