California Quails are also known as Valley Quail and their name comes from the region where they are most spread. It is also the state bird of the above mentioned state. Also a species of the New World Quails, they can be found in the United States and have been successfully introduced in Canada, Hawaii, Chile, New Zealand and Australia, as well. In terms of coloring, the males have a grayish blue coat, a dark brown cap, black face with a white stripe on the forehead and scaled underparts. The females have a more browny tinge to their chest color, making them less attractive.
In the United States, they range in the north and southwestern part of the country. This type of quails tends to roost in trees and its preferred habitat consists of foothills, moist chaparral and scattered trees.
The Californian's diet consists mainly of things like seeds, leaves, grain, flowers, berries and small insects such as caterpillars, beetles, millipedes and snails. Indeed it is through feeding on this vegetation and small creatures that the quails get a lot of their water supply, taking in the moisture. They generally forage about in open areas, but never venture too far from cover.
The nest of a California Quail is usually created under a shrub or next to some cover such as a large log and will be lined with leaves and grasses. The female will lay upwards of 12 eggs at a time, sometimes as many as 16. These usually take between 23 and 25 to hatch, after which the young are independent almost immediately, although the parents do still watch over them for a short period of time.
This species of quails regards as predator the domestic cat and other wild animals such as Cooper’s hawks, owls, ground squirrels and coyotes.
Hunting Tips & Tricks
No matter how long you have been hunting quail, there is always something new to learn in the hunting domain. That is why the tips are so useful. For example, as the Califonia Quail’s tendency is to remain still, the best thing to do is to use dogs like Brittany or English Setters. Also, many hunters prefer to use a 20-gauge shotgun with a 7 ½ or 8 shot. This works great for them and might work for you, too. For more tips & tricks, check out our section, which has even more useful information.
Did you know that the oldest known California Quail was 6 years 11 months old? California Quails are very small and digest vegetation with the help of protozoans found in their intestines. Chicks acquire the protozoans by pecking at the feces of the adults. Furthermore, California Quail has had several roles in different Walt Disney movies. The California Quail’s head plume, or topknot, looks like a single feather, but it is actually a cluster of six overlapping feathers.
Their general chit-chat is quite recognizable, with a unique call that has become known as a "chicago" or "cu-ca-cow" call, plus some warning "pips" that are of a shrill tone. The notes of the bird are less elaborate than those of some of its cousins and the chatter on the whole is seemingly less conversational.