Mountain Quail

Oreortyx pictus

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

New World Quail (Odontophoridae)

Code 4

MOUQ

Code 6

OREPIC

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Mountain Quail has a large range, estimated globally at 350,000 square kilometers. Native to Canada, the United States, and Mexico, this bird prefers forest and shrubland ecosystems, though it has been known to live in areas of arable land as well. The global population of this bird is estimated at 160,000 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 Mountain Quail is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Mountain Quail: Large,striking quail with long elegant black head plume, white-bordered rufous-brown face and throat, gray-brown upperparts, blue-gray breast, and rufous-brown belly and sides with distinct white bars. Rapid direct flight, series of several stiff wing beats followed by a short glide.


Range and Habitat

Mountain Quail: Inhabits mountainous chaparral west of the Rocky Mountains, from the United States to Baja peninsula Mexico. Been introduced to British Columbia in Canada, and some areas of Washington State in the United States. Found up to 3000 m above sea level. Non-migratory species; however some populations may be attitudinal migrants in some mountain ranges.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"quee-ark"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Mountain Quail is the largest quail in the United States.
  • Although their secretive nature makes it difficult to accurately census, it has clearly experienced a great decline in the past 50 years in parts of its range.
  • These birds are unique among members of their family in undertaking seasonal migrations up and down the slopes of mountains.
  • A group of quails has many collective nouns, including a "battery", "drift", "flush", "rout", and "shake" of quails.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Mountain Quail

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

David Lukas

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a 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