This stocky little ground-dwelling bird is always a joy to see. They usually run by in small groups. Seeds and green plants are the quail's main food source. Insects are sometimes consumed in smaller quantities. I would have never suspected this until I saw it. When feeding or when roosting for safety, these birds will fly up into large shruby trees and bushes.
General: 8 to 11 inches in length.
Male: Black, forward-tilting, teardrop-shaped crest. Pale buff forehead. Dark brown crown. Black face with white border. blackish nape with white spots. Dark blue-gray chest. Brown back and upperwings. Buff belly with darker, scale like markings and chestnut center. Brown flanks with white streaks. Female: Short, curved, dark brown, teardrop-shaped crest. Gray or brown head, chest, back, and upperwings. Chestnut flanks with white streaks. Pale belly with darker, scale like markings.
Live-oak canyons and bushy chaparral regions.
12-16 cream colored eggs with brown blotches and dots. They have a 18-23 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 10 days after hatching. The nest is a shallow, grass lined, depression in the ground.
- Lake Murray, La Mesa
- Cabrillo National Monument (the drip), Pt Loma
- Mt Laguna
- Anza Borrego State Park
Listen To This Bird ( mp3 )