coturnix
Quail /coturnix/ medallion 3.5 cm in diameter
The text is borrowed from Isidor /XII.VI.64—66/ who says that the Greek called the bird “ortygia” because quails were first seen on the island of Ortygia /Delos/ and describes the quails’ flying across the sea. While the flock is flying, the birds guard their leader against a falcon. They are the only birds who suffer from fainting fits like men. The description of the quail is derived from Pliny /X.23.33/ and Solinus /11.20/. “Aviarium” /51/ compares the quail crossing the sea with the soul resisting worldly temptations. Albert the Great /XXIII.I.34/ doubts the quail’s ability to fly over the sea and Brunetto Latini /I.V.60/ warns against eating their meat.