Tuesday, July 26, 2011

California Quail Callipepla californica

California Quail Callipepla californica
The California Quail is a plump little ground bird with a distinctive feathery plume adorning its forehead. Common in a variety of habitats, it is very gregarious, and in winter may form large, well-organized coveys composed of several families. As the members of the covey feed, one bird acts as a sentinel, keeping a lookout for danger.

Identification Blue-gray above with brownish wings; belly white with scaly pattern. Male has brown head with buff on forehead, bold white eyebrow, black face and throat, and white crescent on cheek; large, dark, fluffy head plume. Female has reduced pattern on head and face, and smaller plume.

Voice A loud ca-ca-cow or ca-caah-co; also various clucking notes and a pit or whit-whit.

Habitat Open areas with brush; chaparral, riverside areas, coastal canyons, and suburbs.

Range Resident from S. Oregon to Baja California; introduced and established from S. British Columbia south

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