California Quail

Posted on in Wild Bird, Wild Bird Species Profiles

Male: dark crown, white-bordered black “cheeks” and black throat; prominent white “eyebrow”

Female: similar to male only with a grayish brown face and throat and smaller plume.

Plump bird with a gray breast, back and tail; “scaled” light brown to white appearance on the belly. Both genders sport a prominent teardrop-shaped plume on the forehead.

calquailNESTING:

Female builds a well concealed nest lined with grasses and dead leaves, usually placed in a scraped depression near a log, rock or stump or brush pile. The 12-16 eggs are creamy white with brown markings.

FEEDING:

Gleans and scratches on the ground. Eat weeds, grasses, grain and insects. Will come to ground feeders for grain and seeds, millet being their preferred seed.

RECOMMENDED FEED:

Rogue Dove and Quail, millet and cracked corn. Shop Wild Bird Food.

RECOMMENDED FEEDERS:

Ground feeders. Shop Wild Bird Feeders.

HABITAT:

A common and widespread quail native to southwestern Oregon found in open fields, agricultural areas, brush, sagebrush, oak and riparian woodlands, even in suburban parks, usually near water.

OTHER INTERESTING FACTS:

This quail rarely flies, preferring to run away. It roosts in trees or dense shrubs at night, not on the ground. In fall, birds form large coveys of 30-40 birds on average but can be up to several hundred birds. In breeding season, the covey disperses and mated pairs begin nesting. Young stay with the family group until autumn. They generally only have one brood per year; however, females may re-nest in favorable years, in which case the male takes over care of the first brood. Their location call is a 3-note “chi-ca-go”.

COMPARE TO:

The Mountain Quail is distinguished by 1 or 2 long, straight head plumes, strongly white-barred rufous sides and unbarred rufous belly.

Do you live in an area with quail? Would you like to see quail in your yard, or do you already have some and want them to stick around? We’ve got hand-selected products to help you and your feathered friends get together. Shop our California Quail product page now.

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