The round, dark-tipped neck and back feathers are what give the Scaled Quail its name. Rarely seen flying, the Scaled Quail prefers to run from intruders. Despite being a bird of the desert, the Scaled Quail heavily relies on water. This bird nests during the rainy season, when moisture produces vegetation, and may not breed at all during extremely dry summers. This sensitivity to drought and heavy rains causes population numbers to fluctuate from year to year. The Scaled Quail spends most of the year in small flocks, breaking up into pairs at the beginning of the breeding season.
Grayish-brown head and upperwings. White-tipped crest. Bluish-gray with black scaling around neck, upper back, and chest. Buff belly scaled with black (chestnut on males in south Texas). Gray flanks with white streaks. Female has less conspicuous crest and dark brown streaks on sides of face and throat. Immatures similar to female. 10 to 12 inches in length.
Dry grasslands and brushy desert.
12-14 pale buff eggs with reddish-brown spots. The eggs have a 21-23 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in ? days. The nest is a grass lined ground hollow.
- Lomas Blvd foothills, Albuquerque, NM