|Conservation status||Has disappeared or become scarce in parts of the southwest because of overgrazing. The same is probably happening in Mexico, but its status there is not well known.|
|Family||New World Quail|
|Habitat||Grassy oak canyons, wooded mountain slopes with bunchgrass. Presence tall grass and usually oaks seem to be main requirements. Found in open oak or pine-oak woodland, open grassy hills with scattered trees, sometimes in openings in coniferous forest higher in mountains. Avoids low deserts.|
Does much of its foraging by digging in soil with its feet to dig up bulbs, or scratching with its feet in leaf litter under the oaks to uncover insects or seeds. Forages in pairs or in family groups.
10-12, sometimes 8-14. White, often becoming stained in nest. Has a longer incubation than most quail, 25-26 days. Incubation is probably by female only. Young: Downy young leave nest soon after hatching, are accompanied by both parents. Adults may lead young to food, but young feed themselves. Young are capable of making short flights at about 10 days; reach adult size in about 10-11 weeks.
Downy young leave nest soon after hatching, are accompanied by both parents. Adults may lead young to food, but young feed themselves. Young are capable of making short flights at about 10 days; reach adult size in about 10-11 weeks.
Bulbs, insects, seeds. The bulbs of various plants (including wood sorrel and nut-grasses) may be a major part of the diet. Also eats many insect larvae and pupae, acorns and other nuts, various seeds, and berries and small fruits.
In Arizona, nesting is mostly in mid to late summer, timed to the summer rains. May nest earlier in spring farther east. Male defends nesting territory with a purring trill -- soft, but audible for some distance. Nest site is on ground in tall grass. Nest (built by female, possibly with help from male) is well constructed; shallow depression lined with grass, with more grass domed over top and often hanging down over small entrance on side.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Generally a permanent resident, but in northern part of range may move to lower elevations in winter.
- 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 soft whinnying call.
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