The Scaled Quail is a ground-dwelling bird that mainly resides in grasslands. Otherwise called the Blue Quail, this Scaled Quail has a somewhat scaly appearance. This scaly appearance is mainly on its breast and back. This particular quail is medium sized and weighs 6 to 7 ounces while measuring up to 14 inches in length.
This quail, scientifically called Callipepla Squamata, is a species that belongs to the New World Quail family. Also called ‘Cottontop’, this bird has a bushy white crest that resembles a tuft of cotton. This is one of the bird’s most distinguishing features.
The Scaled Quail mainly inhabits plains, open valleys and foothills. These locations tend to have a mixture of low growth vegetation that provides the bird with several necessary resources. Slopes and canyons are also some of the preferred locations of these birds. A Scaled Quail’s environment simply must have low-growing grass and other similar vegetation. These quails reside in locations that are up to 7000 feet in elevation. These include areas such as sagebrush and pinyon-juniper woodlands.
These Scaled Quails eat mainly seeds from plant sources such as forbs and shrubs. They will also eat grains, insects and green leaves, depending on availability and the season. Popular seeds that they consume are those of elbowbush, mesquite, ragweeds and sunflowers. Also included in their diets are fruits and insects.
Scaled Quails are quite sociable creatures. They tend to live peacefully in fairly large groups of with up to 150 birds can be included. In the breeding season however, these groups tend to break up to form pairs. When nesting, they tend to be very discrete, concealing their ground-based nests with the dense vegetation. Popular nesting sites include Yucca plants, small bushes sand sagebrush, desert herbs and honey mesquite. These quails are also monogamous and unmated males will begin calling for to attract mates as the breeding season progresses.
These birds tend to be good runners and usually attempt to run from predators, flying only when left with no other choice. Sleeping in circles, facing outwards are also a technique utilized by these quails. As temperature drops, the groups will move closer and closer together to trap warmth easier.
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