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Abstract

Second generation European quail, descended from parents captured in their natural habitat, were reared in an aviary. The choice of laying site was observed using simplified environments containing dominant visual factors found in the natural habitat. Females were either single or paired. Visual characteristics were taken into account in the selection of a laying site. Pairing does not modify this behaviour and it was found that a confined space was preferable to a large space. The chosen laying site is not less well illuminated than other areas available. A visually achromatic structure is very attractive, vertical stripes being preferable to horizontal ones. Green is much more attractive than the colour ochre. Vertical presentation of these colours does not modify site choice. Green does not modify the relative attractiveness of visual forms available, vertical green stripes being preferable to horizontal ones. No preference is demonstrated when the most attractive components, vertical and green, are in competition. These results are in concordance with observations made concerning their natural habitat.