Tuesday, November 8, 2011
ABC Wednesday: Q is for Quail
A pair of Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), native to the Southwestern United States and much of Mexico. They like a dry habitat with small trees and shrubs for cover and will run rather than fly when they are disturbed.
Scaled quail feed on seeds and they take whatever they can get when its in season, with grass seeds making up a big part of their diet. They will also take insects, like grasshoppers, and will feed on insect galls. Despite the dry habitat, they need a water source in the vicinity and will readily use the water meant for livestock.
During breeding season, a pair lives together with its chicks, but the quails will gather in bigger groups of up to 30 birds during the winter. Scaled quail are hunted for food and also kept and bred for both eggs and meat.
My photos were taken at Burgers Zoo. I also took two videos of the pair that is kept there - they move like wind up-toys.