Montezuma Quail

Cyrtonyx montezumae

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

New World Quail (Odontophoridae)

Code 4

MONQ

Code 6

CYRMON

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Montezuma Quail has a large range, estimated globally at 690,000 square kilometers. Native to the United States and Mexico, this bird prefers subtropical or tropical forest and shrubland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 58,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Montezuma Quail is Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Montezuma Quail: Odd, plump quail with short tail, complexly buff-barred and streaked dark upperparts, and heavily white spotted dark underparts divided by a wide rufous-brown stripe from breast to tail. Face is boldly patterned black and white; head has a rounded light brown crest.

 

Range and Habitat

Montezuma Quail: Ranges from southern Mexico, north to Arizona and New Mexico. Resident locally in the Mogollon and Sacramento highlands. Its northern limits are the San Francisco, Gallo, Datil, Magdalena, Ladron, Capitan, and Guadalupe range. Occurs across the Mogollon Rim, in the Mogollon, Mimbres, and Burro Mountains. Prefers open oak, pine-oak, or pinyon-juniper woodland and dense shrubs.

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Montezuma Quail SONGS AND CALLS

Montezuma Quail C1

Male buzz call.

Montezuma Quail C1

Quiet calls from a pair feeding at close range.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

No data available.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Montezuma Quail is also known as Mearns's Quail, the Harlequin Quail (for the male's striking pattern), and the Fool Quail (for its behavior).
  • An unusual feature of this species is the long, sickle-shaped claws, which it uses for digging.
  • It is one of the shortest quails of North America, although it weighs the same as some Callipepla quails that are several centimetres longer. It has a plumper build and shorter tail than other quails.
  • A group of quails has many collective nouns, including a "battery", "drift", "flush", "rout", and "shake" of quails.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X