Make your own free website on

California Valley Quail




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 overall.

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



Status in Wild: Common

Status in Aviculture: Common

Breeding Season: April to June.

Breeding Age: First year.

Clutch Size: 12-14 eggs.

Incubation Period: 23 days.


General Comments:

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.



Place Mouse over Pictures to Enlarge

Valley Quail Male

Valley Quail Hen

Valley Quail Cubby

Valley Quail

More Pictures