Scaled Quail

Callipepla squamata

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

New World Quail (Odontophoridae)

Code 4

SCQU

Code 6

CALSQU

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Scaled Quail has a large range, estimated globally at 1,400,000 square kilometers. Native to the United States and Mexico, this bird prefers subtropical or tropical shrubland or temperate grassland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 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 Scaled Quail is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Scaled Quail: Large quail AKA "cottontop," due to its white-tipped gray crest; nape, neck underparts have dark-edged gray and buff feathers creating a distinctly scaled look. Upperparts are plain gray with white stripe at base of wings; sides are gray with short white stripes. Pale brown legs, feet.


Range and Habitat

Scaled Quail: Found primarily in New Mexico, western Texas, and portions of western Oklahoma, southwest Kansas, southeast Colorado, southeast Utah, and eastern Arizona. Inhabits open landscapes, desert grassland, thorn-scrub and savanna. Populations have declined since the 1940's, perhaps due to habitat loss.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"QWEUR", "QUEESH", "chur chur", "chuch'er"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Scaled Quail usually runs to escape enemies rather than fly.
  • A first-year mortality of 70 percent or more is normal. Large fluctuations in population size are common and lowest numbers follow several years of drought.
  • They generally roost in groups of two or more, tail-to-tail in a tight circle on the ground.
  • 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 Scaled Quail

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Ashli Maruster

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X