California Quail

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image: CA_Quail.jpg

Common Name: California Quail
Scientific Name: Callipepla californica

Size: 9 -10 inches (23-25.5 cm)

Habitat: North America; The California Quail are primarily found in California though they can be found in southern Oregon and east into Nevada. They also have been imported as a game bird in the Hawaiian Islands Grasslands, foothills, woodlands, canyons and at the edge of deserts. It likes areas with lots of brush and in particular, Atriplex lentiformus brewerii also known as “Quail bush”

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 990,000 mature individuals. Quail are not endangered in their range although continual development fragmenting their nesting and foraging areas is causing population declines. In the wild, they can live about 7 years, although they face many natural and man-made threats.

Diet: Seed and some insects.

Breeding: Males compete for a mate and will mate with only one female. The female usually has only one brood a year. Females usually lay between 12-16 brown/cream speckled eggs. Their nest is usually a shallow bowl or hollow in the ground lined with grasses. Incubation takes about three weeks. Both parents will care for the chicks, taking turns standing guard. The chicks leave the nest shortly after birth. They make their first attempts at flight when they are about 10 days old. They will stay on the ground for about a month and then will roost in trees with the rest of the flock.

Cool Facts: The California quail lives in coveys of 10 to 200 birds in the winter. They will stay in these flocks until they pair off during mating season. Male California quails will perch on a tree or post and call out to claim their territory and will also stand guard watching vigilantly for predators. The scientific name Callipepla californica is thought to be derived from Greek Kallos “a beauty” + peplos “a robe”, and of course, californica refers to the primary range.


Found in Songbird ReMix Second Edition

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