|Conservation status||Local populations rise and fall. Reproduction may be poor in dry years. Moderate grazing may improve habitat for this species, but overgrazing degrades habitat.|
|Family||New World Quail|
|Habitat||Grasslands, brush, arid country. Prime habitat is flat open country or rolling hills, supporting a mix of grasses with annual weeds, with scattered shrubs for additional cover and shade. Also found where grassland grades into other open habitat types such as desert, juniper slopes, dry brush.|
Forages in coveys at most seasons, in pairs or singly during early part of breeding season.
Usually about 12, sometimes 5-16 or more. Whitish, speckled with light brown. Incubation is mostly by female, rarely by male, about 22-23 days. Young: Leave nest shortly after hatching. Both parents tend young, with male often standing guard on higher perch while female and young feed on the ground. Young feed themselves. Development of young and age at first flight not well known. One brood per year, rarely two.
Leave nest shortly after hatching. Both parents tend young, with male often standing guard on higher perch while female and young feed on the ground. Young feed themselves. Development of young and age at first flight not well known. One brood per year, rarely two.
Seeds, insects. Eats seeds of many annual and perennial weeds (such as snakeweed, Russian thistle, broomweed), seeds of woody plants (such as mesquite); seems to eat relatively few grass seeds, but perhaps more than some quail. Also feeds on green leaves, berries. Eats more insects than most quail, especially in spring and summer.
In breeding season, unmated males perch on tops of shrubs, rocks, or posts, and give hoarse single-noted call to defend territory and attract females. Nest site is on ground, usually well hidden under shrub, tumbleweed, cactus, or other cover. Nest (probably built by female) is shallow depression lined with grass and leaves, with tuft of standing grass arched over it.
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 CallsCall is a low nasal pe-cos. Also harsh clucking calls.
Learn more about this sound collection.