A common quail of the southwest. Plump adult stands upright and has stubby wings, relatively short legs and tail, and forward-curling plume on head. Male has blue-gray upperparts and breast, buffy belly with black patch in front of legs, reddish sides streaked with white, black face with white borders, and reddish cap. Female lacks black on belly and face and has reduced head plume. Compare to California Quail.
Length: 25 (cm) Wingspan: 36 (cm)
Three or four part call is accented on higher middle note. Also clucking and sharp, abrupt calls.
Shrubby and brushy areas in desert lowlands; often in suburbs or other human-modified habitats.
Nest is placed directly on ground and young can follow their parents directly after hatching and are capable of flight when partially grown. Gambel's Quail typically walks in meandering paths, pecking at the ground; they are often seen in pairs or small groups. Sometimes a "sentinel" will sit on a fencepost above other birds, alert for predators. Flocks roost by night in dense vegetation.
Picks at food on ground; eats a variety of seeds, fruit, and insects. Often visits bird feeders, typically feeding on the ground underneath.
Expanded Life History
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