California Quail

Callipepla californica

Order

GALLIFORMES

Family

New World Quail (Odontophoridae)

Code 4

CAQU

Code 6

CALCAL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The California Quail is native to the United States, Mexico and Canada. It is thought to be extinct in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but has been introduced to Chile, Australia and New Zealand. The range of this bird is around 1 million square kilometers and it has a global population nearing 1 million individual birds. At the current time this bird is rated as Least Concern as there are no immediate concerns regarding the range of the population of the California Quail.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

California Quail: This medium-sized quail has a curled black head plume, white-bordered black throat, gray breast, sharply scaled belly, brown flanks with white streaks, olive brown back, gray legs and feet. Female has a gray throat with a black streak. Alternates rapid wing beats with short glides. Feeds on seeds, plants and insects. Alternates rapid wing beats with short glides.


Range and Habitat

California Quail: Originally, this species was a resident from southern Oregon south to Baja California, but it has been introduced to the Pacific northwest, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Its preferred habitats include brushy chaparral foothills, live oak canyons, and adjacent deserts and suburbs.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"chi-ca-go", "ka-kah-ko"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • It is the state bird of California.
  • Multiple California Quail broods may mix after hatching and are attended by all of the parents of those broods. Adults that engage in communal brooding live longer than adults that do not.
  • The topknot looks like a single feather, but it is actually a cluster of six overlapping plumes.
  • 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 California Quail

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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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.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X