Investigations were carried out into the influence of rainfall on the breed
ing of the Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix) from 1984-94 in Tarragona Provi
nce (NE Spain) and on the number of quails shot during the hunting season i
n the Teruel Province (NE Spain) in 14 consecutive years. The results clear
ly show the influence of rainfall on the duration of stay of singing male q
uail (r = 0.79, p = 0.01, n = 9): in dry years it is short and in rainy yea
rs it is longer. A direct relationship between the mean time of quail prese
nce and the mean date of cereal maturation was also found (r = 0.81, p = 0.
008, n = 9), strongly suggesting that rainfall directly affects the date of
harvest and indirectly affects the breeding cycle of quail. Finally, the n
umber of quail bagged by hunters depends on the annual rainfall (r(2) = 0.5
4 - 0.74). We conclude that rainfall is a key factor in the biological cycl
e of the Common Quail. Rainfall has an indirect effect on its productivity
and mortality, and influences its nomadic and migratory movements.