Plump and quail-like with short legs and tail, stubby wings, and squat structure. Adult male has white throat and long white supercilium; head is otherwise black except rufous-tinged crown. Underparts and back are bright rufous, darker blackish in Florida, with white streaks on flanks and white-spotted belly. Wings are intricately and cryptically patterned in black, gray, and brown. Adult female is similar, with cream-colored throat and supercilium, and fine black barring on rufous underparts. Males of isolated population in Southeast Arizona are clean rufous underneath with entirely black head.
Length: 25 (cm) Wingspan: 33 (cm)
Song is a loud, whistled bob-WHITE; also various clicking, clucking, and harsh calls.
Open fields, farmland, agricultural areas, hedgerows, dry woodlands.
Found in pairs (summer) or coveys of about a dozen birds (winter). Roost by night in tight, huddled groups, facing outward. Nest is a ground scrape lined with fine materials. Popularly hunted game bird.
Forages on ground, pecking at seeds, grains, nuts, fruit, leaves, and occasional insects. Sometimes eats spilled seed from bird feeders.
Expanded Life History
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