Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii) is a small North American ground-dwelling bird that inhabits the desert regions of the American southwest and Mexican northwest. The Gambel's quail is named for William Gambel, a 19th-century explorer and naturalist in the southwest. They are easily recognized by their top knots and scaly looking plumage. Gambel's quail have bluish-gray plumage on much of their bodies. The males have chocolate colored feathers on the top of their heads, with black faces, and white stripes above the eye. Their diet is primarily made up of plant matter and seeds. The Gambel's quail is able to fly but generally does so only for short distances. They don’t migrate. They primarily move about by walking and can move very fast through the brush. They are a non-migratory species and are rarely seen in flight. Any flight is usually short and explosive, with many rapid wingbeats, followed by a slow glide to the ground. In the late summer, fall, and winter, adults as well as the young gather into large coveys. In the spring they pair off for mating. The nest is a shallow scrape concealed in vegetation. The female lays 10-12 eggs which she incubates for 21-23 days. The chicks follow the adults out of the nest within hours of hatching. This Gambel’s quail was photographed in Green Valley, Arizona, USA.
August 13th, 2021
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