|Conservation status||Adapts fairly well to the vicinity of civilization, but declining in some regions as coastal areas become more and more built up.|
|Family||New World Quail|
|Habitat||Broken chaparral, woodland edges, coastal scrub, parks, farms. May be most common in open oak woodland and in streamside growth bordered by chaparral, but also found in suburbs, semi-desert situations, pinyon-juniper woods, grassland, coastal sage scrub. Where introduced farther inland, may be in other brushy habitats. Avoids mountains.|
Forages mostly by picking up items from ground, often scratching on ground, and picking leaves from plants. Along roads, may feed on acorns that have been cracked open by passing cars. In neighborhoods with good plant cover, comes into yards to eat grain or birdseed.
10-16, usually 13-14. Dull white to pale buff, variably marked with brown. Two females sometimes lay eggs in same nest. Incubation is by female only, about 18-23 days. Young: Downy young leave nest within a day after hatching. Both parents tend young, with female often brooding them when small, male perching high and acting as sentinel; young feed themselves. Young can fly short distances at age of 10 days but are not full grown until later. One brood per year, two in years with good food supply.
Downy young leave nest within a day after hatching. Both parents tend young, with female often brooding them when small, male perching high and acting as sentinel; young feed themselves. Young can fly short distances at age of 10 days but are not full grown until later. One brood per year, two in years with good food supply.
Mostly seeds and leaves. Feeds on a wide variety of plants, but especially annual weeds, eating the seeds, leaves, and fresh shoots. Also eats acorns, berries, flowers, bulbs, insects.
During breeding season, males call loudly to advertise territory. In courtship, male postures with wings drooped, tail spread; bobs head, and may rush at female. Nest site is usually on ground, under a shrub or brushpile, or next to a log or other cover. Sometimes nests above ground, on broken-off branch or in old nest of another bird. Typical nest on ground (probably built by female) is a shallow depression, lined with grass and leaves.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Permanent resident throughout its range.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
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Songs and CallsA loud distinctive ka-kah-ko or Chi-ca-go, the second note highest.
Learn more about this sound collection.