Scaled Quail

: A Desert Dweller with Fantastic Camouflage

The Scaled Quail, scientifically known as Callipepla squamata, is a small bird that belongs to the New World quail family. These birds are also called Blue Quail or Cotton Top Quail and are commonly found in southwestern United States and Mexico.

Basic Description:

Scaled quails have unique features that separate them from other quail species. They have a plump body with short legs and round wings. The most noticeable feature of this bird is its scaly appearance on their breast feathers – hence the name “scaled.” Their heads sport an interesting crest made of black feathers which fans out when they’re excited or alert.

Where To Find This Bird:

Scaled quails can be found in a variety of habitats but prefer open grasslands, shrublands, mesquite flats and desert washes. They thrive well in arid regions such as Arizona, Texas, Colorado and parts of Mexico.


Scaled Quails live mainly in deserts where there’s no shortage of thorn bushes for cover from predators; however, they can also survive in more vegetated areas like prairies or savannas. Also, these birds nestle up against rocks or under buildings to protect themselves from heat during hot summer days.


Their diet consists mostly of seeds (such as sunflowers), berries (like mistletoe) and insects like beetles and weevils. Occasionally though they will eat lizards or spiders if food becomes scarce.

Cool Facts:

1) When disturbed by predators or people walking too close to them scaled quails resort to running instead of flying away.
2) These birds can run very fast – up to 15 miles per hour!
3) Scaled quails blend perfectly into their environment because their feathered scales match surrounding rock formations making it difficult for predators like coyotes to spot them.
4) Scaled quails are one of the few bird species that have a separate call for their male and female. The males make a higher-pitched whistle while females produce a lower tone.

Final Thoughts:

Scaled Quail is an interesting bird with unique features that allow it to thrive in the harsh desert terrain. They may not be as well-known as some other quail species, but they play an essential role in maintaining ecological balance by controlling insect populations and spreading seeds across vast areas of land. So next time you spot this feathered friend wandering around your backyard or out on a hike, know that you’re witnessing something special!