Gambel's Quail

General description.

This handsome bird of the desert southwest looks very much like the California Quail. Overall blue-gray with black face, bill and throat, framed by a thin white band. His belly is white with a black patch; flanks are brownish with flecks of white.

Female appearance.

The female Gambel's is pretty, but lacks the distinguishing markings of her mate.

Flight pattern.

These quail are ground dwelling, and families can be seen running swiftly down the streets of Tucson. However, when alarmed they will fly up into trees or seek cover under a shrub. They also roost in trees.

Breeding habits.

The Gambel's is monogomous and does not breed in colonies. The covey splits up and after hatching, the male takes over the nest so the female can start on a second clutch.

Calls or song.

The Gamel's Quail sounds a loud, nasal "ka-Kaa-ka".

Nesting habits.

Quail seem to be prolific, laying 12 or so eggs at a time. They scratch a hollow in the ground, under a low shrub, and line it with various vegetation.
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