Quail, are divided into Old World and New World groups, with species living across North and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Quail prefer open habitat with bushy undergrowth to provide them with cover from predators.
One species of the game birds, the northern bobwhite quail, can be taken as representative of the whole group. They have a broad range, from Canada to Guatemala, and throughout the southeast United States. Agriculture by settlers within their range inadvertently caused a huge increase in their numbers. As forests were chopped down, the resulting open habitat was perfect for the birds. Changes in land use since European settlement have reduced their range, as they are not well adapted to urban living.