• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco


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California Quail

(Callipepla californica)
California quail
A California Quail looks for food in the Presidio Hills area.
© Alan Hopkins 2001

Natural History: The California Quail feeds on vegetation, seeds, and fruits. It takes cover in brushy vegetation and trees. This species requires a varied habitat with water and openings. This non-migratory bird builds nests in ground depressions from April to August. Because of habitat destruction from urbanization of the San Francisco Peninsula, quail are rare in San Francisco and the Presidio is an important refuge.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, this species is mostly found in coastal scrub areas, and in forests, lawns, and areas of ornamentals. It breeds in the Presidio.

Frequency: This species is common year round.

Identifying Characteristics: This species appears much like a chicken. It is gray with a short black plume curving forward from its head.

Presidio Birds main page

Did You Know?

U.S. Army major rank insignia

In 1915, a tragic fire at the Presidio claimed the lives of General Pershing’s wife and his three daughters. Pershing's son, Francis Warren, survived the blaze and chose to enlist in the army as a private during World War II. By the end of the war he had achieved the rank of major.