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Black Masked Bobwhite Quail



The adult male masked bobwhite has a deep cinnamon colored breast and a black head and throat. Some may have a white stripe traveling from the eye down to the neck and other varying patches of white on the head and throat. The males have crown feathers that darken with age. The rest of the plumage is an array of black, brown, cinnamon, white, and buff feathers in a pattern similar to other bobwhite species. The female bobwhite has plumage that is mottled brown, black, and white, with a pale cinnamon colored throat. The masked bobwhite inhabits savannah grasslands, where grass and shrubs provide sufficient ground cover.



The masked bobwhite begins nesting with the start of the monsoon season. Bobwhites form monogamous pairs, with both partners helping to protect the nest and raise the young. The nest is formed in a shallow depression on the ground, well camouflaged in its surroundings. The female will lay ten to twenty eggs, from which about eleven chicks will hatch.1 The family stays together until late spring.


General Comments:

However the masked bobwhite is listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. It is also protected by the Lacey Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has an approved recovery plan with a goal of introducing self-maintained populations in Arizona and Sonora, and eventually delisting the species. 

Masked bobwhite Quail are not recommended for beginners. They are difficult to raise and hence the price for them is higher than other more common quail.

Due to the inbreeding of the North American bobwhite they are not commonly kept in captivity with small viable bloodline. The Masked bobwhite is also popular with fanciers. However, although they are not pure bloodline, they in fact look every bit as much like they do in the wild, including they very small size. Masked bobs are the smallest of all quail except the button quail.

Masked bobwhites do best in a pen that has more length than width! Provide plenty of branches and natural cover for the hens to lay their eggs under and to provide the birds with shelter to hide.

They are not winter hardy, and must be provided a place they can form a natural covey. We prefer to block all north and west sides of their pens with thick plastic and place dry straw onto the floor of the pen, which is removed when soiled or wet or keep them indoors during the winter months. 



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Black Masked Male

Black Masked Pair

Black Masked Pair with 3 Mearns

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