QUAIL, PARTRIDGE, ETC.
The Northern Bobwhite, Virginia Quail or (in its home range) Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus) is a ground-dwelling bird native to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It is a member of the group of species known as New World quails (Odontophoridae). They were initially placed with the Old World quails in the pheasant family (Phasianidae), but are not particularly closely related. The name "bobwhite" derives from its characteristic whistling call. Despite its secretive nature, the northern bobwhite is one of the most familiar quails in eastern North America because it is frequently the only quail in its range. There are 22 subspecies of northern bobwhite, and many of the birds are hunted extensively as game birds. One subspecies, the Masked Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus ridgewayi), is listed as endangered with wild populations located in Sonora, Mexico and a reintroduced population in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Arizona.
Bill: Short, curved, brown-black.
Size: 10 inches long with 15-inch wingspan, round body.
Colors: Brown, buff, rufous, white, black, gray.
Markings: Dimorphic species. Males have a white throat and brow stripe bordered by black. The overall rufous plumage has gray mottling on the wings and a gray tail, and the flanks show white scalloped stripes. Whitish underparts have black scallops. Females are similar but are duller overall and have a buff throat and brow without the black border. Both genders have pale legs and feet.
Northern bobwhites can be found year-round in agricultural fields, grassland, open woodland areas, roadsides and wood edges.. Their range covers the southeastern quadrant of the United States from the Great Lakes and southern Minnesota east to Pennsylvania and southern Massachusetts, and extending west to southern Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and all but westernmost Texas. These birds are absent from the southern tip of Florida and the highest elevations of the Appalachian Mountains, but are found in eastern Mexico and in Cuba. Isolated populations of these game birds have been introduced in Oregon and Washington. The Bobwhite has also been introduced to New Zealand.
The clear whistle "bob-WHITE" or "bob-bob-WHITE" call of these birds is most recognizable. The syllables are slow and widely spaced, rising in pitch a full octave from beginning to end. Other calls include lisps, peeps and more rapidly whistled warning calls.
Like most game birds, the northern bobwhite is shy and elusive. When threatened, it will crouch and freeze, relying on camouflage to stay undetected, but will flush into low flight if closely disturbed. These birds are generally solitary or found in pairs early in the year, but family groups are common in the late summer and winter roosts may have two dozen or more birds in a single covey.
These are generally monogamous birds, though some evidence of polygamy has been noted. Both parents will incubate a brood for 23–24 days, and the precocial young leave the nest shortly after hatching. Both parents will lead the young birds to food and care for them for 14–16 days until their first flight. These birds can raise 1-2 broods of 12-16 eggs per brood annually.
There are twenty-one recognized subspecies, from 3 groups. 1 subspecies is extinct: To see these subspecies go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Bobwhite
Pictures and decriptions courtesy of Wikipedia
Colinus is a genus of birds in the New World quail family, Odontophoridae. Members of the genus are commonly known as bobwhites.
The Gambel's Quail, Callipepla gambelii, is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family. It inhabits the desert regions of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Sonora; also New Mexico-border Chihuahua and the Colorado River region of Baja California. The Gambel's quail is named in honor of William Gambel, a 19th century naturalist and explorer of the Southwestern United States.
The Callipepla gambelii birds are easily recognized by their top knots and scaly plumage on their undersides. Gambel's quail have gray plumage on much of their bodies, and males have copper feathers on the top of their heads, black faces, and white stripes above their eyes. The bird's average length is 11 inches (30 cm) with a wingspan of 14-16 inches (35–40 cm). These birds have relatively short, rounded wings and long, featherless legs. Its diet consists primarily of plant matter and seeds.
Gambel's quail can be commonly confused with California Quail due to similar plumage. They can usually be distinguished by range, but when this does not suffice, California quail have a more scaly appearance and the black patch on the lower breast of the male Gambel's Quail is absent in the California Quail. The two species are sister taxa which diverged during the Late Pliocene or Early Pleistocene, 1 to 2 mya (Zink & Blackwell, 1998).
Gambel's quail primarily move about by walking and can move surprisingly fast through brush and undergrowth. They are a non-migratory species and are rarely seen in flight. Any flight is usually short and explosive, with many rapid wingbeats, followed by a slow glide to the ground.
In the late Summer, Fall, and Winter, the adults and immature young congregate into coveys of many birds. In the Spring, Gambel quail pair off for mating and become very aggressive toward other pairs. The chicks are decidedly more [insectivorous] than adults, gradually consuming more plant matter as they mature. Gambel quail are [monogamous] and rarely breed in colonies. The female typically lays 10-15 eggs in a simple scrape concealed in vegetation, often at the base of a rock or tree. [Avian incubation|Incubation] lasts from 21–24 days, usually performed by the female and rarely by the male. The chicks are [precocial], leaving the nest with their parents within hours of hatching.
For subspecies go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambel%27s_Quail
Scaled Quail, The scaled quail (Callipepla squamata), also commonly called blue quail or cottontop, is a species of the New World quail family. It is a bluish gray bird found in the arid regions of the Southwestern United States to Central Mexico. This species is an early offshoot of the genus Callipepla, diverging in the Pliocene.
This bird is named for the scaly appearance of its breast and back feathers. Along with its scaly markings, the bird is easily identified by its white crest that resembles a tuft of cotton.
The nest is typically a grass-lined hollow containing 9–16 speckled eggs. When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly.
For more information visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaled_quail