Quails are some of my favorite birds but they sure are difficult to catch photos of. They don’t care to be out in the open and when they do they are always running across the street usually in pairs just asking to be hit by a car. Scares me to death every time!
Common Name: California Quail
Scientific Name: Callipepla californica
The quail is the state bird of California. They are highly sociable birds that often gathers in small flocks known as “coveys”.
If startled, these birds explode into short rapid flight, called “flushing”. Given a choice, they will normally escape on foot.
The female usually lays approximately twelve eggs. Once hatched, the young associate with both adults. Often, families group together, into multifamily “communal broods” which include at least two females, multiple males and many offspring. Males associated with families are not always the genetic fathers. In good years, females will lay more than one clutch, leaving the hatched young with the associated male and laying a new clutch, often with a different associated male.
Fun fact: One of their daily communal activities is a dust bath. A group of quail will select an area where the ground has been newly turned or is soft, and using their underbellies, will burrow downward into the soil some one to two inches. They then wriggle about in the indentations they have created, flapping their wings and ruffling their feathers, causing dust to rise in the air.