Other Names: California Quail, Catalina
Quail, Crested Quail, San Lucas Quail, San Quentin
Quail, Top-knot Quail.
Often confused with the Gambels Quail at first
glance, but closer observation shows that the male is
slightly smaller, but share the tear-drop shaped,
black crest. The face and throat is black, bordered a
white stripe above the eye and along the throat; there
is a small patch of yellow feathers at the base of the
bill. The back of the neck and head is finely mottled
with black, gray and white; the breast and upper back
bluish-gray. The belly has a blackish-chestnut patch
that is surrounded by black buff feathers that give a
scaly appearance not seen in the Gambels. Hens can be
distinguished from the Gambles hen by her smaller size
and scaling on the breast and being lighter gray
Subspecies: Valley California Quail
Catalina Island California Quail
San Quentin California Quail
San Lucas California Quail
Inyo California Quail
Great Basin California Quail
Baja California Quail
Coastal California Quail
Commonly kept in captivity with a large viable bloodline. The
Valley Quail is also popular with fanciers.
Valley Quail are nervous birds by nature and will
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 winter hardy, provided you can place
several birds in one pen for them to 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. With
such a diverse range and habitat, these birds
do well in any climate. This species has no special
demands and can reared in the same manner as Gambles
and Scaled Quail.