Scaled Quail
 Photo

General description.

Hunters call this small, stocky quail "Cotton Tops" due to the raised white crest it exhibits when alerted. The Scaled Quail is gray-brown above, with a breast and mantle of blue-gray semi-circular, overlapping feathers, edged in dark brown, giving the appearance of "scales". It scratches the dry ground in search of insects, but will eat plants if it can find them in the harsh environment in which it lives.

Female appearance.

Both sexes are marked in the same manner.

Breeding habits.

The Scaled Quail breeds and resides among the dry grasslands and deserts of the Southwest United States. They spend most of the year in small flocks, then break up in pairs during courting. It often cross-breeds with Gambel's Quail.

Calls or song.

From the Scaled Quail, you'll hear a harsh clucking call and recognize its "be-CAUSE, be-CAUSE".

Population and distribution.

This quail's numbers increase and decline according to rainfall and drought conditions.

Nesting habits.

The Scaled Quail makes her nest in a hollow on the ground, covering it with grass, and lays 12-14 pale buff eggs with redish-brown spots

Similar birds:

Northern Bobwhite Photo Northern Bobwhite
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