California Quail

The California Quail is a small, plump bird known for its distinctive bobbing head crest and brown feathers. This popular game bird is native to western North America, and has been introduced in parts of Europe, South America, New Zealand and Australia.

Basic Description

The California Quail measures between 9-12 inches in length with a wingspan of approximately 14 inches. Males are slightly larger than females but both sexes have the distinct forward-facing topknot or “plume.” The male’s plumage is more vibrant than that of the female; it features blue-gray feathers on the back and chestnut brown on their flanks while females are mainly gray-brown throughout their bodies.

Where To Find This Bird

California quails can be found along the west coast from southern Oregon to Baja California in Mexico. They inhabit foothills or low mountains as well as grasslands where they can find food sources such as seeds and insects.


These birds prefer habitats that include chaparral or sagebrush scrubland, mixed hardwoods or coniferous forests. Nesting sites vary widely depending on location but typically involve dense vegetation cover close to an open area like a field.


The California Quail eats primarily plant material such as berries, seeds, nuts and leaves. Insects also make up a significant part of their diet during breeding season when protein helps young chicks develop properly.

Cool Facts

One interesting fact about these birds is how they choose mates: males will perform elaborate courtship displays to attract females during mating season which lasts from April through July each year.
Another cool fact about these birds is that they form groups called coveys which consist of several families living together year-round for protection against predators.
In summary, the California Quail is a fascinating bird with unique habits and characteristics. Their distinctive appearance, habitat preferences, and diet make them an interesting species to observe in the wild.