CALIFORNIA QUAIL


Callipepla californica


Description:

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.


Appearance:

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.


Habitat:

Live-oak canyons and bushy chaparral regions.


Nesting:

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.


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Cabrillo National Monument (the drip), Pt Loma
  • Mt Laguna
  • Anza Borrego State Park


  Listen To This Bird ( mp3 )
         Song #1




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Female

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Female

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Male

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Female
Agua Caliente

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Female
Agua Caliente

 

 


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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.