Size:  10”

Plumage/Description:  Males are very distinctive, with their large plume, Rufous crown, black face and throat. Breast, neck, back, and wings are gray. Belly a buffy wash with a large black patch. Flanks are Rufous with white streaking. Female plumage includes a smaller plume, gray on head, throat, back and wings. Buffy belly lacks the large black patch.

Habitat:  Oak/Chaparral, Pinyon/Juniper, Residential

Time of year:  Year-round

Relative Abundance:  Common in proper habitat

Behavior: Quail are primarily ground dwellers and are very cover dependent. They prefer to walk or run, but are capable of short powerful burst of flight when there is imminent danger. Gambel’s Quail inhabit areas with a lot of low-growing native plants. During the winter months it is not uncommon for quail to form large coveys (flocks).In spring the flocks disperse as males and females pair up for breeding purposes. Baby quail are present May through August and are highly susceptible to predation by ravens, roadrunners, house cats, and other predators.

Diet: Seeds, plant materials such as leaves, buds, and insect.

Similar species:  California Quail

Best Sites: In residential developments such as Forest Trails and Pinyon Oaks. Pioneer Park, Acker Park, Heritage Park are good locations to see quail.