California Quail – State Bird of California
Description: The chicken-like California Quail is a colorful bird, measuring about a foot in length. The male California Quail is blue-gray throughout, with a conspicuous black plume extending from the forehead. It has a maroon cap, black face and white facial markings. It’s underparts are whitish with a large maroon patch. The wings and back are brownish. Females are paler and have a smaller plume.
Diet: The California Quail feeds primarily on seeds, buds, and insects. They often feed in large flocks called coveys, particularly in winter. Such coveys may have up to 200 birds.
Range: The California Quail’s range extends along the west coast of the United States from northern Washington to southern California. It breeds east to Idaho and Nevada.
Habitat: The California Quail lives in brushlands, foothills, woodlands, canyons and arid regions.
Nesting: Female California Quails lay between 12 and 16 eggs in a shallow nest on the ground. The eggs are incubated for about three weeks. The chicks leave the nest soon after they hatch. Both the male and female will care for the chicks. After ten days, the baby quails are ready to fly.