Quail Facts



California Quail. (Callipepla californica). Also know as Valley Quail. The male, about 9-11 inches long, is more colorful than the female. He has a black throat circled with a white line, and the top of his head is dark brown with a plume of short, black, curved feathers. A chestnut patch is in the middle of the stomach, his breast is scaled, and his sides are brownish gray streaked with white dashes. The female is similar, but has a shorter plume and a brown-gray head without all the white and black markings of the male. Average weight is about 6-7 ounces for both sexes. The call most commonly heard during the fall and winter months is their assembly call, a metallic sounding “Chi-ca-go”, “Chi-wa-ka”.



Mountain Quail: (Oreortyx pictus). Also known as the mountain partridge. The mountain quail is the largest of the native quail of North America. Unlike the other quail, the sexes look alike. They have a long, slender black plume; the throat is chestnut bordered with white; the breast, upper back and head are bluish gray; and the sides are chestnut with broad black and white stripes. Thay are 10 to 12 inches long and weigh an average of about 8 to 9 ounces. The call a hunter is most likely to hear is their alarm call, a series of “cle-cle-cle”, “ca-ca-ca, cree-a-a, cree-a-ca-ca”, or sharp rapid “scree” or t-t-t-r-r-r-rt” notes. Another call heard during the hunting season is their assembly call which is a series of whistled “kow, kow, kow” or “How, how, how” notes.



Gambel’s Quail: (Callipepla gambelii). Also known as the desert quail. The Gambel’s quail , which is 9 to 11 inches long and weighs 5 to 7 ounces, is somewhat smaller than the California quail. The male is again more colorful than the female, and has a rust-red cap with black plume, black throat with a white border, gray upper breast, black stomach patch without scaling, and chestnut sides streaked with white. The female looks like the male, but without the black throat and stomach patch, and has a shorter plume. The most commonly heard call during the hunting season is their assembly call, a nasal “Chi-ca-go-go”.