California Quail (Callipepla californica)

A blue gray bird with a white spotted belly and a black face with a single feather that sticks up on top of the head. Martinez

Length 9.4-10.6" Wingspan 12.6-14.6"
Adult males are rich gray and brown, with a black face outlined with bold white stripes. Females are a plainer brown and lack the facial markings. Both sexes have a pattern of white, creamy, and chestnut scales on the belly. Young birds look like females but have a shorter topknot.

The most recognizable noise this species makes is a call, not its song, and is usually emitted when flock members are separated from one another or are on the move. This call sounds as if the California Quail is shouting “Chicago!” in a pitch that first ascends and then descends.


Last updated: August 31, 2020

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1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106


619 523-4285

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