In case you were not aware, the bobwhite quail is not the only bird that exists. In fact there are around 10,000 known species of birds. This classification page will show you exactly what species of bird the bobwhite quail is and why it is classified the way it was.

 The phylogenetic trees on this page will also show you where the bobwhite quail fits into the tree of life, and what their closest relatives are.

Domain: Eukarya

All members of the domain Eukarya have the characteristics of membrane bound organelles and posses a true nucleus with linear DNA. Eukaryotes also go through mitosis instead of binary fission.

Kingdom: Animalia

Organisms in the Animalia kingdom are all heterotrophic, multicellular, have no cell walls, and are motile.

Phylum: Chordata

Chordates are bilaterally symmetric, triploblastic, and have a complete digestive tract. There are also  5 characteristics that place organisms into the phylum chordata. These characteristics are a Notochord (skeletal rod), Dorsal tubular nerve chord, pharyngeal pouches (gills), a thyroid gland, and a postanal tail. All of these characteristics occur at least once in their development. For example the Bobwhite quail does not have gills as an adult but they did during early development in their life.

Class: Aves

The class aves is where all the species of birds fit into. All birds have wings, feathers, and a beak with no teeth. Their bones contain air cavities which allow for lighter support and helps them fly. They also require internal fertilization that produces amniotic eggs and are endothermic. Some interesting birds to look at are:  Turkeys, Flamingos, Whopping Cranes, and Blue Footed Boobies.

Order: Galliformes

Galliformes are ground dwelling chicken-like birds that obtain food by pecking at the ground.. They all have strong feet for walking or scraping the ground, and most would rather run away rather than fly away from predators.

Family: Odontophoridae

 For birds to be in the family odontophorida they must have a serrated lower mandible. All birds in this family are commonly called quails.

Genus: Colinus

Colinus means quail in Nahuatl which is a language spoken by the Aztec tribes in Central America.

Species: C. virginianus

In Latin virginianus means Virginia, which is where the bobwhite quail was first discovered by Western scientists.

Phylogenetic Trees:


In this phylogenetic tree you will see how the Animalia kingdom gets broken up into 10 phyla. Birds fit into the chordata phlya. Which you have learned above why and how they were placed into that phyla.

As you know the bobwhite quail is not the only species of bird that exists. This phylogenetic tree shows the bobwhite quail's closest relatives.  Robert M. Zink and Rachelle C. Blackwell took the DNA sequence of quail DNA to see what species of quails where most closely related. This tree is a bit misleading because in actuality it is believed that the scaled quail and the bobwhite quail are more closely related than any other quail. Regardless this tree is good at seeing what quails are more closely related.

Next head over the the Habitat page to see where these birds live.