squamata) are a small, chunky, short-tailed,
round-winged, ground-dwelling bird. Gray-brown head with white-tipped
crest, Gray-brown upper wings Blue-gray about neck, upper back and
chest with black scaling. Buff belly scaled with black, is chestnut
on males in south Texas Gray flanks with white streaks Female has
less conspicuous crest and dark brown streaks on sides of face and
throat Immatures similar to female. Scaled quail, often called blue
quail or cotton top, are native to the Chihuahuan desert and the
surrounding grasslands of the southwestern portion of the United
States and Northern Mexico.
Scaled quail can be seen in the early mornings and late afternoons
on sunflowers, cactus, green vegetation, and a variety of other
plants and seasonal seeds. Scaled quail have a very high natural
mortality rate and are short lived. Generally seed eaters, scaled
quail usually feed in the early morning and late evening. The scaled
quail is a runner, able to reach speeds above 15 miles per hour.
Despite being a bird of the desert, the Scaled Quail heavily relies
on water. Come early March, scaled quail start thinking about
Quail are nervous birds by nature and will do best in an aviary that
has more length than width. These quail also feeds on insects such as
beetles and grasshoppers. Generally, Blue Scale quail are very good
layers. From the time the birds are taken to the brooder house, a
preventative dosage of BMD (Bacitracin) can be added in the drinking
water about every two or three weeks to prevent Quail Enteritis.
They are winter hardy, provided you can place several birds in one
for them to form a natural covey. These birds are 11 inches long on
average and weigh between five and seven ounces. One end of the pen
can be boxed in with an opening for the birds to enter this area and
a lift-up lid so eggs can be gathered. Most of the birds have paired
up by the first of April.
Widespread and common throughout its range, the Scaled Quail is
Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.