quail

General - A small game bird which appears in the mythology of various cultures. (1) In China, the symbol of the scarlet bird used by astrologers is said to be based on the quail, a bird associated with the phoenix. It symbolises courage. (2) Regarded as sacred to Apollo, in Greek stories the form of a quail was adopted by Asteria to escape the amorous attentions of Zeus, Leto was turned into a quail by Hera and Zeus adopted the form of a quail when he mated with Leto. It was believed that this bird was immune to the effects of poison. Some say that the birds would land on ships at sea to rest during their migration in such numbers that the ships sank under the weight. (3) The Hindus regard the quail as the harbinger of spring. It is eaten by the wolf at the onset of winter but is revived by the Aswins in the spring. (4) In Russia, the quail is regarded as the embodiment of the sun. Sometimes referred to as quail.

Nearby Myths