Local Wildlife

California Quail

Picture of California Quail
Scientific Name: Callipepla californica
Audio: Listen Now
Audio Source: Unknown
Addt'l Info: Univ. of Michigan

The california quail has a distinctive black and white pattern on the face and belly with black and brown feather tips. The overall color is blue-grey and brown with a chestnut colored crown streaked along the sides. California quail have black bills and grey legs with males exhibiting the well-recognized black throat and prominent plume on the forehead.

California quail prefer living in open woodlands, bushy foothills, and valleys with streams. They can also live in brushland and agricultural land. They can be seen in many locations around Sunriver, but are most likely to be found in areas of low shrubs or bushes and tall grasses. In fall, california quail are quite social and travel in small groups (called coveys) that vary in size from 25 to 40 birds.

Breeding occurs from May through July. Nests are made in shallow hollows in the ground lined with grass. The clutch can range from six to 28 eggs. Females incubate the eggs with the male close at hand. Chicks hatch synchronously and are capable to walking within an hour of hatching.

The primary daily diet of the california quail consists of the seeds of broad-leafed plants. However, if it is available, they will also eat fruits, berries, and insects.