Bird of the Week: Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii)

Gambel's Quail Callipepla gambelii


Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii)

These birds are adorable! With a feather that hangs off their head like a raindrop and often with their entire family in tow. You have probably seen them in the desert where there are shrubs or in rural backyards.  These birds do not migrate so they spend the entire year here in Southern New Mexico and Southern Arizona.

These birds are extremely vocal, having a different call for almost every emotion. Listen to their alarm call when they are frightened and the group is scattered.

To find these birds, keep a look out for their call. They always post a lookout atop a fence post or shrub to scan for danger and warn the group below. The group will be on the ground looking for seeds and the occasional insect to eat.


For more information about the Gambel's Quail, go to

Special Thanks to Seth Hall for lending his bird expertise for this blog.

Photo Credits: Callipepla gambelii, Tuscon, Arizona, USA -adults and chicks 8 CC BY 2.0 and

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