California Quail

Although highly sedentary, the California quail congregates in large coveys during the fall and winter. It hybridizes with the Gambel’s quail where their ranges overlap. Polytypic (5 ssp.; 4 in North America). Length 10".

The California is a plump, short-tailed quail with gray and brown plumage; a prominent teardrop-shaped head plume or double plume is present in both sexes. Adult male: pale forehead with brown crown and black throat, scaled belly with a chestnut patch, brown upperparts. Adult female: similar to adult male but muted and lacking distinctive facial pattern; head plume smaller. Juvenile: grayish brown to brown overall and heavily mottled. Belly pale and lacking the scaled appearance of the adults. Usually has a short head plume.

Subspecies variation is

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