California Quail

California Quail

Chunky, zippy brush hens. Common in California and Northwest. Timing: year-round. Prefers scrub, oak forests and foothills and high desert; tolerant of people. Large and football shaped with a short, slightly curved bill; plumage is patterned white, brown and gray with black face and hat. Forage in coveys of up to 75 family members. Roosts in trees. Feeds mostly morning and evening. Chicks acquire digestive microbes by eating parents feces. Raises young cooperatively. Male and female alternate calls to each other. Diet includes primarily seeds; also berries and insects. Oldest wild individual recorded was 6. Population ~ 36 million and stable.