Overview

Comprehensive Description

Characteristics

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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: RESIDENT: south-central Arizona, northern New Mexico, east-central Colorado, and southwestern Kansas south through western Oklahoma, western Texas, and interior Mexico to northeastern Jalisco, Guanajuato, Queretaro, Hidalgo and western Tamaulipas. Introduced and established in central Washington and eastern Nevada (AOU 1983, Schemnitz 1994).

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Scaled quail occur from south-central Arizona, northern New Mexico,
east-central Colorado, and southwestern Kansas south through western
Oklahoma and western and central Texas into Mexico to northeastern
Jalisco, Guanajuato, Queretaru, Hidalgo, and western Tamaulipas. It has
been introduced to Hawaii, central Washington, eastern Nevada, and
Nebraska, but is only considered established in central Washington and
eastern Nevada [1,25].

Distribution of subspecies is as follows:

Callipepla squamata ssp. castanogastris occurs from southern Texas south
through Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and eastern Coahuila, Mexico.

C. s. hargravei is found in western Oklahoma, southwestern Kansas,
southeastern Colorado, northern New Mexico, and northwestern Texas.

C. s. pallida occurs from southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and
western Texas south to northern Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico.

C. s. squamata occurs in Mexico from northern Sonora and Tamaulipas
south to the Valley of Mexico [15].
  • 1. American Ornithologists' Union. 1983. Checklist of North American birds. 6th ed. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press, Inc. 877 p. [21234]
  • 15. Johnsgard, Paul A. 1988. The quails, partridges, and francolins of the world. New York: Oxford University Press. 264 p. [16199]
  • 25. Sibley, Charles G.; Monroe, Burt L., Jr. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of the birds of the world. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 1111 p. [22814]

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

7 Lower Basin and Range
11 Southern Rocky Mountains
13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont
14 Great Plains

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Occurrence in North America

AZ CO KS NV NM TX WA



MEXICO

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 25 cm

Weight: 191 grams

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Ecology

Habitat

Chihuahuan Desert Habitat

This taxon is found in the Chihuahuan Desert, which is one of the most biologically diverse arid regions on Earth. This ecoregion extends from within the United States south into Mexico. This desert is sheltered from the influence of other arid regions such as the Sonoran Desert by the large mountain ranges of the Sierra Madres. This isolation has allowed the evolution of many endemic species; most notable is the high number of endemic plants; in fact, there are a total of 653 vertebrate taxa recorded in the Chihuahuan Desert.  Moreover, this ecoregion also sustains some of the last extant populations of Mexican Prairie Dog, wild American Bison and Pronghorn Antelope.

The dominant plant species throughout the Chihuahuan Desert is Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata). Depending on diverse factors such as type of soil, altitude, and degree of slope, L. tridentata can occur in association with other species. More generally, an association between L. tridentata, American Tarbush (Flourensia cernua) and Viscid Acacia (Acacia neovernicosa) dominates the northernmost portion of the Chihuahuan Desert. The meridional portion is abundant in Yucca and Opuntia, and the southernmost portion is inhabited by Mexican Fire-barrel Cactus (Ferocactus pilosus) and Mojave Mound Cactus (Echinocereus polyacanthus). Herbaceous elements such as Gypsum Grama (Chondrosum ramosa), Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and Hairy Grama (Chondrosum hirsuta), among others, become dominant near the Sierra Madre Occidental. In western Coahuila State, Lecheguilla Agave (Agave lechuguilla), Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), Purple Prickly-pear (Opuntia macrocentra) and Rainbow Cactus (Echinocereus pectinatus) are the dominant vascular plants.

Because of its recent origin, few warm-blooded vertebrates are restricted to the Chihuahuan Desert scrub. However, the Chihuahuan Desert supports a large number of wide-ranging mammals, such as the Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocapra americana), Robust Cottontail (Sylvilagus robustus EN); Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Grey Fox (Unocyon cineroargentinus), Jaguar (Panthera onca), Collared Peccary or Javelina (Pecari tajacu), Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus auduboni), Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus), Kangaroo Rats (Dipodomys sp.), pocket mice (Perognathus spp.), Woodrats (Neotoma spp.) and Deer Mice (Peromyscus spp). With only 24 individuals recorded in the state of Chihuahua Antilocapra americana is one of the most highly endangered taxa that inhabits this desert. The ecoregion also contains a small wild population of the highly endangered American Bison (Bison bison) and scattered populations of the highly endangered Mexican Prairie Dog (Cynomys mexicanus), as well as the Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus).

The Chihuahuan Desert herpetofauna typifies this ecoregion.Several lizard species are centered in the Chihuahuan Desert, and include the Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum); Texas Banded Gecko (Coleonyx brevis), often found under rocks in limestone foothills; Reticulate Gecko (C. reticulatus); Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus); several species of spiny lizards (Scelopoprus spp.); and the Western Marbled Whiptail (Cnemidophorus tigris marmoratus). Two other whiptails, the New Mexico Whiptail (C. neomexicanus) and the Common Checkered Whiptail (C. tesselatus) occur as all-female parthenogenic clone populations in select disturbed habitats.

Representative snakes include the Trans-Pecos Rat Snake (Bogertophis subocularis), Texas Blackhead Snake (Tantilla atriceps), and Sr (Masticophis taeniatus) and Neotropical Whipsnake (M. flagellum lineatus). Endemic turtles include the Bolsón Tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus), Coahuilan Box Turtle (Terrapene coahuila) and several species of softshell turtles. Some reptiles and amphibians restricted to the Madrean sky island habitats include the Ridgenose Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi), Twin-spotted Rattlesnake (C. pricei), Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis), Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus jarrovii), and Canyon Spotted Whiptail (Cnemidophorus burti).

There are thirty anuran species occurring in the Chihuahuan Desert: Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Rana chircahuaensis); Red Spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus); American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus); Canyon Treefrog (Hyla arenicolor); Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans); Rio Grande Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus cystignathoides); Cliff Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus marnockii); Spotted Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus guttilatus); Tarahumara Barking Frog (Craugastor tarahumaraensis); Mexican Treefrog (Smilisca baudinii); Madrean Treefrog (Hyla eximia); Montezuma Leopard Frog (Lithobates montezumae); Brown's Leopard Frog (Lithobates brownorum); Yavapai Leopard Frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis); Western Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti); Mexican Cascade Frog (Lithobates pustulosus); Lowland Burrowing Frog (Smilisca fodiens); New Mexico Spadefoot (Spea multiplicata); Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons); Pine Toad (Incilius occidentalis); Woodhouse's Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii); Couch's Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii); Plateau Toad (Anaxyrus compactilis); Texas Toad (Anaxyrus speciosus); Dwarf Toad (Incilius canaliferus); Great Plains Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea); Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus); Eastern Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis); Gulf Coast Toad (Incilius valliceps); and Longfoot Chirping Toad (Eleutherodactylus longipes VU). The sole salamander occurring in the Chihuahuan Desert is the Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum).

Common bird species include the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia), Merlin (Falco columbarius), Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), and the rare Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus). Geococcyx californianus), Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostra), Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), Scott’s Oriole (Icterus parisorum), Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata), Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens), Worthen’s Sparrow (Spizella wortheni), and Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus). In addition, numerous raptors inhabit the Chihuahuan Desert and include the Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) and the Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi).

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Comments: Breeding and non-breeding habitats are similar (Schemnitz 1994). In general, preferred habitat is arid-semiarid, mixed shrub-grassland. Common shrubs of preferred habitat include acacia (ACACIA spp.), sand sagebrush (ARTEMISIA FILIFOLIA), four-winged saltbush (ATRIPLEX CANESCENS), cacti (OPUNTIA spp.), honey mesquite (PROSOPIS GLANDULOSA), sumacs (RHUS AROMATICA, R. MICROPHYLLA, R. TRILOBATA), yucca (YUCCA spp.), and snakeweed (XANTHOCEPHALUM SAROTHRAE). In New Mexico, sightings are highest in mixed shrub-grassland, intermediate in shrub-dominated habitats, and lowest in grasslands (Saiwana et al. 1998). Most (54 percent) sightings in Oklahoma are associated with shrubs, 29 percent with man-made cover, and 16 percent in grassland or cropland (Schemnitz 1961). In southern Arizona, 89 percent of sightings occur in mesquite grassland, mixed shrubland, and shrub-dominated washes (Medina 1988).

In areas of sympatry, northern bobwhite (COLINUS VIRGINIANUS) and scaled quail tend to select different habitats. In Oklahoma, northern bobwhite were most frequently observed in riparian habitats, whereas scaled quail were observed in upland habitats (Schemnitz 1964). During the breeding season in Texas, scaled quail selected denser, shorter shrub habitat than northern bobwhite (Reid et al. 1979, Reid et al. 1993). Unlike northern bobwhite, which selects dense herbaceous cover, scaled quail in south Texas prefers sparsely vegetated areas with a shrub overstory with a relatively high percentage of bare ground (Wilson and Crawford 1987). Roosts on the ground beneath shrub cover (Schemnitz 1994).

Nests on the ground in a depression lined with dry grasses (Terres 1991). In Oklahoma, 66 percent of 50 nests were found amid dead Russian-thistle (SALSOLA PESTIFER), machinery and junk, mixed forbs, and soapweed (YUCCA GLAUCA; Schemnitz 1961). In New Mexico, 66 percent of 14 nests were located in dead Russian-thistle, mixed forbs, soapweed, johnson grass (SORGHUM HALEPENSE) and overhanging rocks (Russell 1932, cited in Schemnitz 1961). A single nest in Colorado was found amid Russian-thistle (Long 1941, cited in Schemnitz 1961).

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Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Cover Requirements

More info for the terms: cactus, cover, forbs, shrubs, tree

Feeding Cover: Scaled quail use grass clumps and shrubs for cover while
feeding. In one study they were frequently seen crossing 82 to 165 feet
(25-50 m) of bare ground. When disturbed, scaled quail hid in snakeweed
(Gutierrezia spp.) or in grass clumps [11]. In June and July foraging
occurs on open grasslands which are not used at other times [24].

Loafing Cover: Scaled quail coveys occupy loafing or resting cover
after early morning feeding periods. Scaled quail occupy desert
grassland or desert scrub with a minimum of one loafing covert per
approximately 70 acres (28 ha) [4,6,13]. In northwestern Texas, loafing
coverts were characterized by: (1) overhead woody cover, (2) lateral
screening cover, (3) a central area with bare soil, and (4) one or more
paths through the lateral cover. Covert heights ranged from 1.6 to 5.9
feet (0.5-1.8 m) and 2.6 to 6.9 feet (0.8-2.1 m) in diameter. Cholla
formed all or part of the overhead cover of 85 percent of coverts, even
though they were dominant at only 12 percent of the study locations. In
areas where scaled quail occur without cholla, woody species such as
wolfberry (Lycium spp.) and mesquite are important for overhead cover
[27]. In Oklahoma pinyon-juniper habitats, scaled quail use the shade
of tree cholla (Opuntia imbricata) and human-made structures [24]. In
Arizona, scaled quail occupied wolfberry and mesquite 1.7 to 5 feet
(0.5-1.5 m) tall for loafing cover. This overhead cover provides midday
shade, but is open at the base to allow easy escape from predators [11].
In Oklahoma, winter home ranges always contained skunkbush sumac, tree
cholla, or human-made structures providing overhead cover [24].

Night-roosting Cover: Scaled quail roosts were observed in yucca (Yucca
angustifolia), tree cholla, and true mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus
montanus)-yucca-fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) vegetation types. The
height of vegetation used for night roosts was less than 1.6 feet (0.5
m) [28].

Nesting Cover: In March or April winter coveys spread out into areas
with less cover. This use of areas with less cover coincides with a
seasonal decrease in the number of raptors in the same area [24].
Scaled quail nests are constructed under tufts of grasses, and are
sheltered by sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), creosotebush (Larrea
tridentata), mesquite, catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii), cactus, or yucca
[13]; under dead Russian-thistle (Salsola kali), mixed forbs, or
soapweed yucca; or sheltered in old machinery or other human-made debris
[29]. In Oklahoma, 66 percent of nests were in one of four situations:
(1) dead Russian-thistle, (2) machinery and junk, (3) mixed forbs, and
(4) soapweed yucca [24]. In New Mexico, ordination of breeding birds
and vegetative microhabitats indicated that scaled quail were associated
with increased levels of patchiness and increased cover of mesquite and
cactus [22].
  • 6. DeGraaf, Richard M.; Scott, Virgil E.; Hamre, R. H.; [and others]
  • 4. Campbell, Howard; Martin, Donald K.; Ferkovich, Paul E.; Harris, Bruce K. 1973. Effects of hunting and some other environmental factors on scaled quail in New Mexico. Wildlife Monographs No. 34. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society. 49 p. [23082]
  • 11. Goodwin, John G., Jr.; Hungerford, C. Roger. 1977. Habitat use by native Gambel's and scaled quail and released masked bobwhite quail in southern Arizona. Res. Pap. RM-197. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 8 p. [14970]
  • 13. Harrison, H. H. 1979. A field guide to western birds' nests. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.. 279 p. [22997]
  • 22. Naranjo, Luis G.; Raitt, Ralph J. 1993. Breeding bird distribution in Chihuahuan Desert habitats. Southwestern Naturalist. 38(1): 43-51. [20943]
  • 24. Schemnitz, Sanford D. 1961. Ecology of the scaled quail in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Wildlife Monographs: No. 8. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society: 5-47. [23079]
  • 27. Stormer, Fred A. 1981. Characteristics of scaled quail loafing coverts in northwest Texas. Res. Note RM-395. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 6 p. [23085]
  • 28. Stormer, Fred A. 1984. Night-roosting habitat of scaled quail. Journal of Wildlife Management. 48(1): 191-197. [23083]
  • 29. Sutton, Geroge Miksch. 1967. Oklahoma birds: their ecology and distribution with comments on the avifauna of the southern Great Plains. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. 674 p. [23000]

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Preferred Habitat

More info for the terms: cover, forbs, shrubs

Scaled quail inhabit dry, open valleys, plains, foothills, rocky slopes,
draws, gullies, and canyons that have a mixture of bare ground, low
herbaceous growth, and scattered brushy cover [6,7]. Good scaled quail
habitat is characterized by low-growing grasses with forbs and shrubs.
Overall ground cover is between 10 and 50 percent. Trees and shrubs
should be less than 6.6 feet (2 m) tall. Scaled quail avoid the dense
growth associated with streamsides. Transmitter-fitted scaled quail had
individual home range sizes of 52 and 60 acres (21 and 24 ha) [11].

An absolute requirement by scaled quail for a source of open water has
not been established; there is some debate in the literature whether
there is such a requirement [15,24]. Scaled quail have been reported as
inhabiting an area 7 or 8 miles (11.2-12.8 km) from the nearest water in
Arizona. In New Mexico, it was not unusual to find scaled quail 10 to 15
miles (16-24 km) from water [24]. Wallmo [32] observed winter coveys 3
and 7 miles (1.8 and 11.2 km) from water in Big Bend National Park in
southwestern Texas.

In Arizona, scaled quail summer habitat is seldom within 660 feet (200
m) of water. Scaled quail were observed drinking at stock tanks from
April to June (which was a dry period during the course of the study)
every 2 to 3 days [11]. In Oklahoma, scaled quail often migrate to
farms and ranches in winter and are thus closer to a source of water in
winter than in summer [24]. DeGraaf and others [6] reported that in
winter, scaled quail are usually found within 1.25 miles (2 km) of a
source of water.
  • 6. DeGraaf, Richard M.; Scott, Virgil E.; Hamre, R. H.; [and others]
  • 7. Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dobkin, David S.; Wheye, Darryl. 1988. The birder's handbook: a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 785 p. [21559]
  • 11. Goodwin, John G., Jr.; Hungerford, C. Roger. 1977. Habitat use by native Gambel's and scaled quail and released masked bobwhite quail in southern Arizona. Res. Pap. RM-197. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 8 p. [14970]
  • 15. Johnsgard, Paul A. 1988. The quails, partridges, and francolins of the world. New York: Oxford University Press. 264 p. [16199]
  • 24. Schemnitz, Sanford D. 1961. Ecology of the scaled quail in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Wildlife Monographs: No. 8. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society: 5-47. [23079]
  • 32. Wallmo, O. C. 1956. Ecology of scaled quail in west Texas. Contribution of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act; Special report: Project W-57-R; Department of Wildlife Management, A & M College of Texas. Austin, TX: Texas Game and Fish Commission, Division of Wildlife Restoration. 134 p. [24189]

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Associated Plant Communities

More info for the terms: cactus, cover

According to Ligon [20], the distribution of scaled quail is largely
coextensive with mesquite (Prosopis spp.), condalia (Condalia spp.), and
cholla (Opuntia spp.).

In Oklahoma, scaled quail occur in sand sagebrush (Artemisia
filifolia)-grassland, pinyon-juniper (Pinus spp.-Juniperus spp.), and
shortgrass High Plains [1,6,24]. Sand sagebrush-grasslands include
sand sagebrush, soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), skunkbush sumac (Rhus
trilobata), and sand plum (Prunus watsonii) [24]. Scaled quail in
Oklahoma inhabit rough or rolling land, especially where sagebrush
(Artemisia spp.), mesquite, cactus (Opuntia spp. and others), yucca
(Yucca spp.), juniper, sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii), and rocks
furnish cover [29].

In Colorado, scaled quail occupy sand sagebrush and/or yucca stands on
sandy soils [26]. The cover types used by scaled quail in Colorado are,
in descending order, sand sagebrush-grassland, pinyon-juniper, dense
cholla-grassland, dryland farmland, irrigated farmland, and greasewood
(Sarcobatus spp.)-saltbush (Atriplex spp.) washes. Scaled quail made
little or no use of sparse cholla-grassland, riparian areas, reseeded
grasslands, or shortgrass prairie disclimax [14].
  • 1. American Ornithologists' Union. 1983. Checklist of North American birds. 6th ed. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press, Inc. 877 p. [21234]
  • 6. DeGraaf, Richard M.; Scott, Virgil E.; Hamre, R. H.; [and others]
  • 14. Hoffman, Donald M. 1965. The scaled quail in Colorado: Range--population status--harvest. Tech. Publ. No. 18. Denver, CO: Colorado Department of Game, Fish, and Parks. 47 p. [23086]
  • 20. LIGON, J. S. 1961. New Mexico birds and where to find them. Alberquerque: University of New Mexico Press. 360 p. [22998]
  • 24. Schemnitz, Sanford D. 1961. Ecology of the scaled quail in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Wildlife Monographs: No. 8. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society: 5-47. [23079]
  • 26. Snyder, Warren D. 1967. Experimental habitat improvement for scaled quail. Game bird surveys. Colorado Division of Wildlife. Project number W-037-R-18/WK.PL.06/JOB 1. [22999]
  • 29. Sutton, Geroge Miksch. 1967. Oklahoma birds: their ecology and distribution with comments on the avifauna of the southern Great Plains. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. 674 p. [23000]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K024 Juniper steppe woodland
K027 Mesquite bosque
K040 Saltbush - greasewood
K041 Creosotebush
K053 Grama - galleta steppe
K054 Grama - tobosa prairie
K057 Galleta - three-awn shrubsteppe
K058 Grama - tobosa shrubsteppe
K060 Mesquite savanna
K061 Mesquite - acacia savanna
K071 Shinnery
K087 Mesquite - oak savanna

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES30 Desert shrub
FRES32 Texas savanna
FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe
FRES35 Pinyon-juniper
FRES40 Desert grasslands

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Habitat: Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

66 Ashe juniper - redberry (Pinchot) juniper
68 Mesquite
239 Pinyon - juniper

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Non-migratory (Schemnitz 1994).

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Foods include seeds of shrubs, forbs and grasses, cultivated grains, insects, and herbaceous leaves. Forage primarily from dawn to approximately 10:00 hours, then from about 16:00 hours until dark (Schemnitz 1961). The contents of 1204 crops collected during early winter in Oklahoma were 93 percent plant material and 7 percent insects. Seeds of four species, including grain sorghum, comprised 59 percent of the diet (Schemnitz 1961). Fall-winter contents of 135 crops collected in Oklahoma were 89.5 percent seeds, 9 percent leaves and 1 percent insects (Rollins 1981). Seeds of forbs and shrubs comprised 57 percent of the diet year-round in a study of 162 crops collected in Arizona (Medina 1988). The contents of 227 fall-winter crops collected in New Mexico was 81 percent seeds, 8 percent leaves and stems, and 6.5 percent insects (Campbell et al. 1973). The fall-winter diet of 593 birds taken by hunters in southwestern New Mexico was comprised principally of seeds of snakeweed (XANTHOCEPHALUM SAROTHRAE; 15 percent) and Russian thistle (SALSOLA PESTIFER; 10 percent), grain sorghum (8 percent), green vegetation (7 percent), and insect (6 percent; Schemnitz et al. 1998a). Seeds (42 percent), green herbage (26 percent), and insects (32.5 percent) comprised the year-round diet determined by analysis of 324 droppings in Texas (Ault and Stormer 1983). The contents of 32 winter crops collected in Southwestern Texas contained 93 percent seeds and 7 percent leaves (Lehmann and Ward 1941). In Arizona, annual seed consumption varied from 53.5 percent in summer to 87.5 percent in fall, insect consumption from 2 percent in winter to 18 percent in summer, and green herbage consumption from 3.5 percent in fall to 30 percent in winter (Medina 1988). In Texas, annual seed consumption varied from 30.5 percent in one winter to 60 percent in another winter, insect consumption from 13 percent in winter to 57 percent in summer, and green herbage consumption from 9 percent in summer to 43 percent in spring (Ault and Stormer 1983). In New Mexico, the summer diet is comprised of 54 percent seeds, 36.5 percent insects, and 9.6 percent green vegetation, whereas in winter the diet is 74 percent seeds, 15 percent green vegetation, and 11 percent insects. (Davis et al. 1975). In Oklahoma, sympatric northern bobwhite quail and scaled quail have a high degree of dietary overlap (Rollins 1981). In south Texas, however, northern bobwhites consume a greater percentage of animal matter and grass seeds, and scaled quail eat a higher percentage of woody plant seeds and fleshy fruits (Wilson and Crawford 1987).

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Food Habits

More info for the terms: forbs, selection

Scaled quail are opportunistic eaters [15]. Seeds are consumed
year-round. Large seeds (such as those of mesquite and snakeweed) are
important in scaled quail diets [5]. Other seeds include those of
elbowbush (Adelia angustifolia), catclaw acacia , mesquite, hackberry
(Celtis spp.), Russian-thistle, rough pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus),
and sunflowers, ragweeds (Ambrosia spp.), and other Asteraceous plants
[6,30]. Scaled quail consume more grass seeds than do other quail
species [6]. Other dietary components include leaves, fruits, and
insects. Summer diets are high in green vegetation and insects, which
are also important sources of moisture [11,19].

In Oklahoma, small groups of scaled quail feed among soapweed yucca and
in soapweed yucca-sand sagebrush ranges, weed patches, and grain
stubble. Also in Oklahoma, early winter foods apparently eaten when
other foods are not available included snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia
marginata), sand paspalum (Paspalum stramineum), field sandbur (Cenchrus
pauciflorus), purslane (Portulacca spp.), skunkbush sumac, Fendler
spurge (Euphorbia fendleri), and leaf bugs. Jimsonweed (Datura
stramonium) and juniper berries were always avoided [24]. Winter foods
of the scaled quail in Oklahoma include Russian-thistle and sunflower
(Helianthus spp.) seeds [29].

In northwestern Texas, selection of foods by scaled quail was dependent
on foraging techniques, availability, and seed size. Small seeds were
selected when they were still on the plant and could be easily stripped,
but were not eaten once thay had fallen, presumably because they were
too small and/or too hard to find. Broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia
sarothrae) was a staple in winter diets; it was not highly selected but
was consumed in proportion to its availability (and lack of availability
of choice items) [2]. Generally, in Texas grass seeds (mainly tall
dropseed [Sporobolus asper] and rough tridens [Tridens muticus]) were
major constituents of scaled quail diets. This was attributed to a
precipitation pattern that resulted in a relatively higher amount of
grass seed available, and a lower amount of available forbs. In the
same study green vegetation formed a higher proportion of the diet than
reported for other areas [17].

In southwestern Texas, chestnut-bellied scaled quail consumed woody
plant seeds and green vegetation. The seeds of brush species comprised
68 percent of the contents of 32 scaled quail crops. Green food,
chiefly wild carrot (Daucus carota) and clover (Trifolium spp.) made up
7.17 percent. Elbowbush was the single most important source, followed
by Roemer acacia (Acacia roemeriana), desert-yaupon (Schaefferia
cuneifolia), and spiny hackberry (Celtis pallida) [16].

In southeastern New Mexico, staples (comprising at least 5% of scaled
quail diet in both summer and winter) were mesquite and croton (Croton
spp.) seeds, green vegetation, and snout beetles. Nonpreferred foods
eaten in winter and available but not consumed in summer included broom
snakeweed (the main winter food), crown-beard (Verbesina encelioides),
cycloloma (Cycloloma atriplicifolium), and lace bugs. Mesquite seeds
and broom snakeweed seeds together made up 75 percent of the winter diet
[5]. Grasshoppers were a summer staple. Insect galls, cicadas, scarab
beetles, spurge (Euphorbia spp.), plains bristlegrass (Setaria
macrostachya) seeds, and white ratany (Krameria grayi) were consumed in
a less pronounced seasonal pattern [5]. Another study reported
substantial amounts of prairie sunflower seeds (Helianthus petiolaris)
and pigweed (Amaranthus spp.) seeds in the diet of scaled quail [36].

Scaled quail feed in alfalfa (Medicago spp.) fields [29].
  • 6. DeGraaf, Richard M.; Scott, Virgil E.; Hamre, R. H.; [and others]
  • 2. Ault, Stacey C.; Stormer, Fred A. 1983. Seasonal food selection by scaled quail in northwest Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management. 47(1): 222-228. [12168]
  • 5. Nowak, Cheryl L.; Nowak, Robert S.; Tausch, Robin J.; Wigand, Peter E. 1994. A 30,000 year record of vegetation dynamics at a semi-arid locale in the Great Basin. Journal of Vegetation Science. 5: 579-590. [23084]
  • 11. Goodwin, John G., Jr.; Hungerford, C. Roger. 1977. Habitat use by native Gambel's and scaled quail and released masked bobwhite quail in southern Arizona. Res. Pap. RM-197. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 8 p. [14970]
  • 15. Johnsgard, Paul A. 1988. The quails, partridges, and francolins of the world. New York: Oxford University Press. 264 p. [16199]
  • 16. Lehmann, Valgene W.; Ward, Herbert. 1941. Some plants valuable to quail in southwestern Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management. 5(2): 131-135. [12227]
  • 17. Leif, Anthony P. 1987. Bobwhite and scaled quail responses to burning of redberry juniper- dominated rangelands. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University. 84 p. Thesis. [23080]
  • 19. Leopold, A. Starker; Gutierrez, Ralph J.; Bronson, Michael T. 1981. North American game birds and mammals. New York: Charles Scribner & Sons. 198 p. [22815]
  • 24. Schemnitz, Sanford D. 1961. Ecology of the scaled quail in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Wildlife Monographs: No. 8. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society: 5-47. [23079]
  • 29. Sutton, Geroge Miksch. 1967. Oklahoma birds: their ecology and distribution with comments on the avifauna of the southern Great Plains. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. 674 p. [23000]
  • 30. Terres, John K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1109 p. [16195]
  • 36. Best, Troy L.; Smartt, Richard A. 1985. Foods of scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) in southeastern New Mexico. Texas Journal of Science. 37(2&3): 155-162. [23520]

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Associations

Predators

In Arizona, potential scaled quail predators include mammals, birds, and
reptiles. Most scaled quail kills are made by avian predators
including northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), red-tailed hawk (Buteo
jamaicensis), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), prairie falcon (Falco
mexicanus), and great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) [11]. In New
Mexico, predators on scaled quail include hawks, owls, coyote (Canis
latrans), and snakes [4]. In Colorado, potential predators of scaled
quail include coyote, gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), red fox
(Vulpes vulpes), kit fox (V. velox), bobcat (Lynx rufus), northern
harrier, rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus), prairie falcon, peregrine
falcon (Falco peregrinus), American kestrel, golden eagle (Aquila
chrysaetos), and bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) [26].

Scaled quail are popular gamebirds [4].
  • 4. Campbell, Howard; Martin, Donald K.; Ferkovich, Paul E.; Harris, Bruce K. 1973. Effects of hunting and some other environmental factors on scaled quail in New Mexico. Wildlife Monographs No. 34. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society. 49 p. [23082]
  • 11. Goodwin, John G., Jr.; Hungerford, C. Roger. 1977. Habitat use by native Gambel's and scaled quail and released masked bobwhite quail in southern Arizona. Res. Pap. RM-197. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 8 p. [14970]
  • 26. Snyder, Warren D. 1967. Experimental habitat improvement for scaled quail. Game bird surveys. Colorado Division of Wildlife. Project number W-037-R-18/WK.PL.06/JOB 1. [22999]

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General Ecology

Population size fluctuates dramatically, most likely in response to variations in reproductive success (Schemnitz 1994). Spring-summer rainfall has been implicated in reproductive variance in New Mexico and west Texas, with lower rainfall resulting in reduced breeding success (Campbell 1968, Campbell et al. 1973, Wallmo and Uzzell 1958). In east Texas, variations in abundance correlated with winter rainfall (Giuliano and Lutz 1993). New Mexico population density estimates ranged from 1 per 3.3-50 hectares on late-seral habitat to 1 per 4-20 hectares on mid-seral habitat over a two-year period (Saiwana et al. 1998); 1 per 8.8-11.7 hectares on two adjacent areas over an eight-year period (Campbell et al. 1973). In south Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma, population densities have been estimated to be 1 per 0.4 hectare, 1 per 10.9-25.9 hectares, and 1 per 5.3 hectares, respectively (Schemnitz 1994).

Generally sedentary, one individual moved 96 kilometers (Campbell and Harris 1965). Relatively short-lived; complete turnover in quail populations occurs about every six years. In New Mexico, first-year mortality averages 86 percent, annual adult mortality averages 70 percent, and annual mortality for the entire population averages 83 percent. The mortality rate for females is higher than for males (Campbell et al. 1973). Adults studied in New Mexico and Oklahoma exhibited male-biased sex ratios, whereas the sex ratio of first-year birds varied from parity in Oklahoma to female-biased in New Mexico (Campbell et al. 1973, Schemnitz 1961). The biased sex ratio of first-year birds in New Mexico may be due to the difficulty in positively determining sex of young birds (Campbell et al. 1973). Presumably sexually mature in first year after hatching.

Winter coveys average 31.2 birds in Oklahoma, 22.3-41.5 birds in Texas, and 33.4 birds in Colorado (Schemnitz 1994). Coveys begin forming in August and break up the following spring (March-April; Schemnitz 1961).

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Habitat-related Fire Effects

Wright and Bailey [33] stated that fire, by favoring low growing shrubs
and grasses over dense brush, would probably be beneficial to scaled
quail.

In a study to assess the effects of fire (used to control Pinchot
juniper [Juniperus pinchotii]) on scaled quail habitat, populations of
scaled quail on 3- and 7-year-old burns were compared with populations
on unburned pastures. Scaled quail on the 3-year-old burn had diets of
materials which were coarser and less digestible than those on the
7-year-old burn or on unburned areas. Scaled quail on the 3-year-old
burn had lower amounts of stored fat than those on the 7-year-old burn
or on unburned areas. The lower lipid reserves were attributed to the
lower quality diet and reduced roosting areas associated with the more
recent burn [17,18]. Common broomweed (Amphyiachyrus dracunculoides)
comprised 40 percent of scaled quail diets on 4-year-old burns [17].
  • 17. Leif, Anthony P. 1987. Bobwhite and scaled quail responses to burning of redberry juniper- dominated rangelands. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University. 84 p. Thesis. [23080]
  • 18. Leif, Anthony P.; Smith, Loren M.; Wright, Henry A. 1986. Effects of controlled burns on quail populations in juniper habitat. In: Smith, Loren M.; Britton, Carlton M., eds. Research highlights--1986 Noxious brush and weed control; range and wildlife management. Volume 17. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University: 36. [3669]
  • 33. Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p. [2620]

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Timing of Major Life History Events

Breeding: In Arizona, pairing and maximum dispersal is complete by
mid-June. Nesting probably does not begin until early July [11]. In
Oklahoma, egg laying usually starts in late April. Completed clutches
have been found as early as May 8 [29]. Egg laying occurs from March to
June in Texas and Mexico, and from April to September in New Mexico
[30]. Nests with eggs were reported as early as April 15 in New Mexico [24].

Clutch Size: Scaled quail lay from 9 to 16 eggs; most clutches are 12
to 14 eggs [13].

Incubation: Eggs are incubated by the female for 21 to 23 days.
Double-brooding (the production of two consecutive broods in one season)
is common [13]. In west Texas, Wallmo [32] observed the male rearing
the first brood while the female began a second clutch. Sutton [29]
stated, however, that scaled quail in Oklahoma are probably
single-brooded, but have hatched broods as late as September 6. Ehrlich
and others [7] also list scaled quail as single-brooded.

Development of Young: The precocial young leave the nest shortly after
hatching. They are accompanied by at least one, usually both, parents,
who show them how to find food [7]. The young fledge rapidly
(age at fledging not reported in the literature), and are adult size in
11 to 15 weeks [7,15].

Seasonal Movements: Scaled quail are fairly sedentary. The winter home
ranges of scaled quail coveys varied from 24 to 84 acres (9.6-33.6 ha).
The home ranges of separate coveys overlap only slightly or not at all
[15,24]. From September to November scaled quail coveys maintain stable
territories [11,24]. In Arizona, 75 to 90 percent of a population
apparently moved off of a breeding area by mid-November, moving to
nearby mountain foothills. The mountain habitat was consistent with
that found on the breeding area. In March the population on the
breeding area increased again, with most birds in groups of four to
eight [11].

Nonbreeding Behavior: The average winter covey size for scaled quail
is around 30 birds, although coveys of up to 150 birds have been
reported [7].
  • 7. Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dobkin, David S.; Wheye, Darryl. 1988. The birder's handbook: a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 785 p. [21559]
  • 11. Goodwin, John G., Jr.; Hungerford, C. Roger. 1977. Habitat use by native Gambel's and scaled quail and released masked bobwhite quail in southern Arizona. Res. Pap. RM-197. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 8 p. [14970]
  • 13. Harrison, H. H. 1979. A field guide to western birds' nests. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.. 279 p. [22997]
  • 15. Johnsgard, Paul A. 1988. The quails, partridges, and francolins of the world. New York: Oxford University Press. 264 p. [16199]
  • 24. Schemnitz, Sanford D. 1961. Ecology of the scaled quail in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Wildlife Monographs: No. 8. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society: 5-47. [23079]
  • 29. Sutton, Geroge Miksch. 1967. Oklahoma birds: their ecology and distribution with comments on the avifauna of the southern Great Plains. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. 674 p. [23000]
  • 30. Terres, John K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1109 p. [16195]
  • 32. Wallmo, O. C. 1956. Ecology of scaled quail in west Texas. Contribution of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act; Special report: Project W-57-R; Department of Wildlife Management, A & M College of Texas. Austin, TX: Texas Game and Fish Commission, Division of Wildlife Restoration. 134 p. [24189]

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Pair formation typically begins in mid-March in Oklahoma, but can commence as early as mid-February in Arizona (Schemnitz 1994). The nesting season begins in mid-April in Arizona and New Mexico and extends through late September throughout the range (Schemnitz 1961). Second broods are uncommon, but renesting is not. Clutch size averages 12.7 eggs (range = 9-22). Incubation takes 22-23 days and is conducted principally by the female (Schemnitz 1994). Hatching success can be 90 percent, but nest success varies from 14-22 percent (Schemnitz 1961). In New Mexico, 84 percent of eggs hatch between May and July (Campbell et al. 1973).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Callipepla squamata

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

TCTATACCTAATCTTTGGTACATGAGCAGGCATAATCGGCACAGCACTTAGCCTACTAATTCGCGCTGAACTGGGCCAACCAGGCACACTCTTAGGGGACGACCAAATCTACAATGTGATCGTTACAGCCCATGCTTTCGTTATAATCTTCTTTATAGTAATACCCATCATGATCGGCGGATTCGGAAACTGATTGGTACCACTCATAATTGGTGCCCCCGACATAGCATTTCCCCGCATGAACAACATGAGTTTCTGACTCCTCCCCCCCTCCTTCCTACTCCTCCTAGCCTCTTCCACTGTAGAAGCCGGAGCCGGCACAGGATGAACTGTCTACCCCCCACTAGCTGGCAACCTTGCCCATGCCGGAGCATCCGTAGACCTAGCCATTTTCTCCCTACACTTAGCAGGTGTATCATCCATCCTAGGTGCTATCAACTTCATCACTACCATCATCAACATAAAACCACCATCCCTATCACAATACCAAACCCCCCTATTCGTCTGATCCGTCCTCATTACTGCCATCCTCCTTCTACTCTCACTTCCAGTCCTTGCTGCCGGCATTACAATACTACTAACTGACCGAAACCTAAACACCACCTTCTTTGACCCAGCAGGGGGTGGAGACCCAATTCTATATCAACACCTANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Callipepla squamata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Population

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Comments: Threatened by habitat loss and degradation, principally overgrazing by cattle. HABITAT: Range improvement designed to promote grasses by brush control removes important food sources (e.g., mesquite [PROSOPIS spp.], snakeweed [XANTHOCEPHALUM SAROTHRAE], broomweed [X. DRACUNCULOIDES]; Ault and Stormer 1983, Davis et al. 1975, Leif and Smith 1993). An increase in perennial grass cover in the Chihuahuan Desert region of New Mexico between 1961 and 1992 corresponds to a decline in the scaled quail population (Saiwana et al. 1998). Stands of Lehmann's lovegrass (ERAGROSTIS LEHMANNIANA), an exotic species planted extensively in Arizona and dominant at mid- to high elevations, are avoided (Medina 1988). In Oklahoma, a decline in population size corresponds to the establishment of Conservation Reserve Program grasslands dominated by weeping lovegrass (ERAGROSTIS CURVULATA; Schemnitz 1993). GRAZING: Overgrazing reduces residual grass cover, which is important to overwinter survival (Brown 1978). PESTICIDES: Wheat seeds coated with the antifungal chemical Ceresan, may be lethal (Rollins 1981). PREDATION: The only confirmed predator is the coyote (CANIS LATRANS); suspected predators include hawks, roadrunner (GEOCOCCYX CALIFORNIANUS), black-billed magpie (PICA PICA), snakes, and skunks (Schemnitz 1994). HUNTING: Recreational hunting is not considered a threat (Campbell et al. 1973, Schemnitz 1994); however, spent lead shot is eaten and may pose a threat (Best et al. 1992, Campbell 1950). PARASITISM: Known internal parasites include three helminths (OXYSPIRURA PETROWI, AULONOCEPHALUS LINDQUISTI, and RHABDOMETRA ODIOSA), a tapeworm (RAILLIETINA sp.) and two nematodes (PHYSALOPTERA sp. and SUBULARIA STRONGYLINA; Schemnitz 1994).

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Management

Restoration Potential: The potential to increase population numbers through changes in land management exists. Reduced grazing pressure, through pasture rotation or reductions in stocking rates, can improve habitat conditions by promoting the preferred mix of shrubs and grasses.

Preserve Selection and Design Considerations: Shrub cover is an essential habitat component. More quail are associated with mesquite habitats than areas converted to mesquite-free grasslands for cattle grazing (Germano et al. 1983).

Management Requirements: Moderate grazing is compatible with, and can improve habitat conditions (Bock et al. 1984, Brown 1978, Medina 1988, Smith et al. 1996). In grass-dominated habitats, moderate grazing improves conditions by reducing grass density, creating more bare ground, and encouraging germination of forbs (Bock et al. 1984, Schemnitz et al. 1998a). Quail prefer pastures grazed intermittently (pasture rotation) over those grazed year-round (Campbell-Kissock et al. 1984). Although free-standing water is used, it does not appear to be critical for survival. In New Mexico, gallinaceous guzzlers are ineffective and impractical (Campbell 1960). Ramps into and out of stock watering tanks can provide access to water (Schemnitz et al. 1998b).

Management Research Needs: More research is needed on causes of population fluctuations (e.g., weather, predation); management strategies to improve reproductive success and individual survival; effects of land use practices such as grazing, brush control, non-native grass establishment and crop production; minimal and optimal sizes of management units; direct and indirect effects of pesticides; impacts of recreational hunting; and methods of estimating and tracking population size (Brown et al. 1993, Capel et al. 1993, Schemnitz 1994).

Biological Research Needs: Studies of evolutionary relationships with other species of quail are needed, as are details of molts and plumages (Schemnitz 1994).

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Use of Fire in Population Management

More info for the terms: cacti, cactus, cover, prescribed fire, shrubs

Brush control in rangelands often includes the use of fire. Any
prescribed burning for brush control in scaled quail habitat should be
conducted so as not to eliminate the type of cholla cover used as
loafing coverts [27]. Cactus species vary in their response to fire.
Fire effects on cacti also depend on the size of individual plants [35].
Tree cholla (valuable for cover) experienced 73 percent mortality of
short plants and 27 percent mortality of tall plants as measured 3 years
after a prescribed fire [35]. Scaled quail will use dead cholla for
cover; however, fire-caused necrosis of lower limbs could prevent the
formation of adequate lateral cover, particularly where cattle are
present. High-crowned shrubs without lateral cover were not used by
scaled quail for resting coverts from January to early May [27].
Prescribed burning of pastures to control prickly pear (Opuntia spp.)
should be conducted so that 1-acre (0.4 ha) plots of prickly pear, with
clumps 100 yards (90 m) apart, are left for quail cover [16].

An extensive body of research has been published on fire effects on animals
in semidesert grassland, oak savanna, and Madrean oak woodlands of southeastern
Arizona, including the response of scaled quail to fire. See the Research Project Summary of this work for more information on
scaled quail and more than 100 additional species of birds, small
mammals, grasshoppers, and herbaceous and woody plant species.
  • 16. Lehmann, Valgene W.; Ward, Herbert. 1941. Some plants valuable to quail in southwestern Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management. 5(2): 131-135. [12227]
  • 27. Stormer, Fred A. 1981. Characteristics of scaled quail loafing coverts in northwest Texas. Res. Note RM-395. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 6 p. [23085]
  • 35. Bunting, Stephen C.; Wright, Henry A.; Neuenschwander, Leon F. 1980. Long-term effects of fire on cactus in the southern mixed prairie of Texas. Journal of Range Management. 33(2): 85-88. [4271]

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Management Considerations

More info for the terms: climax, cover, forbs, natural, shrub, shrubs

Scaled quail are more tolerant of grazing than other upland birds;
however, heavy livestock use in northwestern Texas reduced lateral cover
around loafing coverts. Such lateral cover is often composed of
Russian-thistle and grasses [27]. Much scaled quail range has been
overgrazed by livestock. Desirable cover plants for scaled quail
include saltbushes (Atriplex spp.), which are consumed by livestock.
Reduction of saltbush cover reduces the scaled quail carrying capacity
of the range [19]. Short-duration grazing has been hypothesized to
result in more uniform grazing pressure than other grazing rotations.
Uniform grazing pressure could degrade habitat quality for scaled quail
by reducing patchy ground cover [27].

In well-watered localities in New Mexico, moderate grazing may have a
beneficial effect on quail range by encouraging forbs and weeds that
provide a large portion of the scaled quail diet [4,19]. Saiwana [23]
reported that ranges on upland sandy areas in fair to good condition
provided optimum habitat for scaled quail in south-central New Mexico.
These ranges experienced moderate grazing by cattle (30 to 40% use of
grasses). This level of use maintains shrub-grass habitat which is
beneficial to scaled quail. Grasslands (without shrub cover) are much
less suitable for scaled quail [23].

McCormick [21] reported lower numbers of scaled quail on ranges cleared
of mesquite than on undisturbed mesquite range. Germano [10] reported
no differences in scaled quail numbers among range cleared of mesquite,
range with small, irregular clearings within mesquite, and undisturbed
mesquite. He did report significantly more scaled quail calls in
undisturbed mesquite than in mesquite-free range. This study was done
on a relatively small scale; the author speculated that the small sizes
of the clearings and of the mesquite-free range contributed to a more
uniform distribution of scaled quail than would be observed with larger
clearings [10]. Davis and others [5] reported that mesquite and broom
snakeweed reduction projects may have an adverse effect on winter food
availability for scaled quail. They suggested that the grasses which
would increase in abundance following reduction of mesquite, including
plains bristlegrass, panic grasses (Panicum spp.), knotgrass (Paspalum
distichum), and barnyardgrass (Echinocloa crusgalli), are acceptable
substitutes for mesquite and broom snakeweed in scaled quail diets.
However, these grasses are usually replaced by climax grasses which are
not beneficial for scaled quail. The authors therefore recommended
leaving areas of mesquite and broom snakeweed for scaled quail cover and
food supply [5].

Scaled quail populations fluctuate widely and are adversely affected by
drought and by heavy rains [30].

In Colorado, the migration of winter coveys to farmlands (which renders
them inaccessible to hunting) was reduced by the development of good
winter habitat. This development included brush piles for overhead
cover, guzzlers (artificial sources of water, used by scaled quail for
both water and cover), and cover plantings around blow-outs [26].
Establishing natural cover is preferable to construction of artificial
cover. Brush, post, and board piles, however, are inexpensive and
readily used by scaled quail [24,26].

Recommended scaled quail habitat consists of successional stages with
annual and perennial forbs and some food-producing shrubs. A patchwork
of short grasses, tall grasses and forbs, and woody cover is ideal [2].
Recommendations for cover improvement in Oklahoma include maintaining
natural cover by fencing off four-wing saltbush and skunkbrush to
protect them from trampling and grazing by cattle, and establishing
artificial cover [24]. Any area to be managed for scaled quail should
include at least one loafing covert per 52 to 70 acres (20-28 ha), or
the average size of a covey home range [27].
  • 2. Ault, Stacey C.; Stormer, Fred A. 1983. Seasonal food selection by scaled quail in northwest Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management. 47(1): 222-228. [12168]
  • 4. Campbell, Howard; Martin, Donald K.; Ferkovich, Paul E.; Harris, Bruce K. 1973. Effects of hunting and some other environmental factors on scaled quail in New Mexico. Wildlife Monographs No. 34. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society. 49 p. [23082]
  • 5. Nowak, Cheryl L.; Nowak, Robert S.; Tausch, Robin J.; Wigand, Peter E. 1994. A 30,000 year record of vegetation dynamics at a semi-arid locale in the Great Basin. Journal of Vegetation Science. 5: 579-590. [23084]
  • 10. Germano, David Joseph. 1978. Response of selected wildlife to mesquite removal in desert grassland. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona. 60 p. M.S. thesis. [10532]
  • 19. Leopold, A. Starker; Gutierrez, Ralph J.; Bronson, Michael T. 1981. North American game birds and mammals. New York: Charles Scribner & Sons. 198 p. [22815]
  • 21. McCormick, D. P. 1975. Effect of mesquite control on small game populations. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona. 66 p. Thesis. [23772]
  • 23. Saiwana, Lewis L. 1990. Range condition effects on scaled quail in southcentral New Mexico. Las Cruces, NM: New Mexico State University. 124 p. Dissertation. In: Dissertation Abstracts International. 51(4): 1590-B. [Abstract]
  • 24. Schemnitz, Sanford D. 1961. Ecology of the scaled quail in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Wildlife Monographs: No. 8. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society: 5-47. [23079]
  • 26. Snyder, Warren D. 1967. Experimental habitat improvement for scaled quail. Game bird surveys. Colorado Division of Wildlife. Project number W-037-R-18/WK.PL.06/JOB 1. [22999]
  • 27. Stormer, Fred A. 1981. Characteristics of scaled quail loafing coverts in northwest Texas. Res. Note RM-395. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 6 p. [23085]
  • 30. Terres, John K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1109 p. [16195]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

Stewardship Overview: Populations have declined rangewide an average of -3.8 percent per year from 1966-1991. Preferred habitat is arid to semi-arid, mixed shrub-grassland. Habitat changes associated with land use appear to have contributed to the decline. Habitat modification associated with cattle grazing is the greatest threat. Residual grass cover is lost through overgrazing, and shrub cover is eliminated when mixed shrub-grasslands are converted to grasslands to improve forage. Moderate grazing is a compatible land use and can improve habitat conditions in some circumstances. Currently-used quantitative monitoring techniques need to be continued, although assumptions of some techniques (e.g., hunter success) should be verified. The methods of estimating and tracking population size need refinement.

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Wikipedia

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.[2]

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.

Widespread and common throughout its range, the scaled quail is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1]

Distribution and taxonomy[edit]

Scaled quail occur from south-central Arizona, northern New Mexico, east-central Colorado,[3] and southwestern Kansas south through western Oklahoma and western and central Texas into Mexico to northeastern Jalisco, Guanajuato, Queretaru, Hidalgo, and western Tamaulipas. It has been introduced to Hawaii, central Washington, eastern Nevada, and Nebraska, but is only considered established in central Washington and eastern Nevada.[4]

Scaled quail has formed several subspecies, 3 of which range into the USA:

  • Callipepla squamata hargravei Rea, 1973 (Upper Sonoran scaled quail).[3] A form of arid habitat, it is only found in the area where the states of Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma meet, and in northwestern New Mexico. It is the palest subspecies, adapted to dry and sandy habitat.
  • Callipepla squamata castanogastris Brewster, 1883 (chestnut-bellied scaled quail). Found in southern Texas from Eagle Pass and San Antonio south to adjacent northwestern Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas). Similar individuals are sometimes found in the extreme northeast and west of the species' range.[6] The chestnut brown belly distinguishes it from all other subspecies; it is also darker than the other two found in the USA.

Plant communities[edit]

According to Ligon,[7] the distribution of scaled quail is largely coextensive with mesquite (Prosopis spp.), condalia (Condalia spp.), and cholla (Cylindropuntia spp.).

In Oklahoma, Scaled Quail occur in sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia)-grassland, pinyon-juniper (Pinus spp.-Juniperus spp.), and shortgrass High Plains.[8][9] Sand sagebrush-grasslands include sand sagebrush, soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), skunkbush sumac (Rhus trilobata), and sand plum (Prunus watsonii).[9] Scaled Quail in Oklahoma inhabit rough or rolling land, especially where sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), mesquite, cactus (Opuntia spp. and others), yucca (Yucca spp.), juniper, sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii), and rocks furnish cover.[10]

In Colorado, Scaled Quail occupy sand sagebrush and/or yucca stands on sandy soils.[11] The cover types used byScaled Quail in Colorado are, in descending order, sand sagebrush-grassland, pinyon-juniper, dense cholla-grassland, dryland farmland, irrigated farmland, and greasewood (Sarcobatus spp.)-saltbush (Atriplex spp.) washes. Scaled Quail made little or no use of sparse cholla-grassland, riparian areas, reseeded grasslands, or shortgrass prairie disclimax.[12]

Timing of major life events[edit]

In Arizona, pairing and maximum dispersal is complete by mid-June. Nesting probably does not begin until early July.[13] In Oklahoma, egg laying usually starts in late April. Completed clutches have been found as early as May 8.[10] Egg laying occurs from March to June in Texas and Mexico, and from April to September in New Mexico. Nests with eggs were reported as early as April 15 in New Mexico.[9]

Scaled quail lay from 9 to 16 eggs; most clutches are 12 to 14 eggs.[14] Eggs are incubated by the female for 21 to 23 days. Double-brooding (the production of two consecutive broods in one season) is common.[14] In west Texas, Wallmo [15] observed the male rearing the first brood while the female began a second clutch. Sutton [10] stated, however, that scaled quail in Oklahoma are probably single-brooded, but have hatched broods as late as September 6. Ehrlich and others [16] also list scaled quail as single-brooded.

The precocial young leave the nest shortly after hatching. They are accompanied by at least one, usually both, parents, who show them how to find food.[16] The young fledge rapidly (age at fledging not reported in the literature), and are adult size in 11 to 15 weeks.[5][16]

Scaled quail are fairly sedentary. The winter home ranges of scaled quail coveys varied from 24 to 84 acres (9.6–33.6 ha). The home ranges of separate coveys overlap only slightly or not at all.[5][9] From September to November scaled quail coveys maintain stable territories.[9][13] In Arizona, 75 to 90% of a population apparently moved off of a breeding area by mid-November, moving to nearby mountain foothills. The mountain habitat was consistent with that found on the breeding area. In March the population on the breeding area increased again, with most birds in groups of four to eight.[13]

The average winter covey size for scaled quail is around 30 birds, although coveys of up to 150 birds have been reported.[16]

Preferred habitat[edit]

Scaled quail inhabit dry, open valleys, plains, foothills, rocky slopes, draws, gullies, and canyons that have a mixture of bare ground, low herbaceous growth, and scattered brushy cover.[8][16] Good scaled quail habitat is characterized by low-growing grasses with forbs and shrubs. Overall ground cover is between 10 and 50%. Trees and shrubs should be less than 6.6 feet (2 m) tall. Scaled quail avoid the dense growth associated with streamsides. Transmitter-fitted scaled quail had individual home range sizes of 52 and 60 acres (21 and 24 ha).[13]

An absolute requirement by scaled quail for a source of open water has not been established; there is some debate in the literature whether there is such a requirement.[5][9] Scaled quail have been reported as inhabiting an area 7 or 8 miles (11.2–12.8 km) from the nearest water in Arizona. In New Mexico, it was not unusual to find Scaled Quail 10 to 15 miles (16–24 km) from water.[9] Wallmo [15] observed winter coveys 3 and 7 miles (1.8 and 11.2 km) from water in Big Bend National Park in southwestern Texas.

In Arizona, scaled quail summer habitat is seldom within 660 feet (200 m) of water. Scaled quail were observed drinking at stock tanks from April to June (which was a dry period during the course of the study) every 2 to 3 days.[13] In Oklahoma, scaled quail often migrate to farms and ranches in winter and are thus closer to a source of water in winter than in summer.[9] DeGraaf and others [8] reported that in winter, scaled quail are usually found within 1.25 miles (2 km) of a source of water.

Cover requirements[edit]

Feeding cover: scaled quail use grass clumps and shrubs for cover while feeding. In one study they were frequently seen crossing 82 to 165 feet (25–50 m) of bare ground. When disturbed, scaled quail hid in snakeweed (Gutierrezia spp.) or in grass clumps.[13] In June and July foraging occurs on open grasslands which are not used at other times.[9]

Loafing cover: scaled quail coveys occupy loafing or resting cover after early morning feeding periods. Scaled quail occupy desert grassland or desert scrub with a minimum of one loafing covert per approximately 70 acres (28 ha).[8][14][17] In northwestern Texas, loafing coverts were characterized by: (1) overhead woody cover, (2) lateral screening cover, (3) a central area with bare soil, and (4) one or more paths through the lateral cover. Covert heights ranged from 1.6 to 5.9 feet (0.5–1.8 m) and 2.6 to 6.9 feet (0.8–2.1 m) in diameter. Cholla formed all or part of the overhead cover of 85% of coverts, even though they were dominant at only 12% of the study locations. In areas where scaled quail occur without cholla, woody species such as wolfberry (Lycium spp.) and mesquite are important for overhead cover.[18] In Oklahoma pinyon-juniper habitats, scaled quail use the shade of tree cholla (Cylindropuntia imbricata) and human-made structures.[9] In Arizona, scaled quail occupied wolfberry and mesquite 1.7 to 5 feet (0.5–1.5 m) tall for loafing cover. This overhead cover provides midday shade, but is open at the base to allow easy escape from predators.[13] In Oklahoma, winter home ranges always contained skunkbush sumac, tree cholla, or human-made structures providing overhead cover.[9]

Night-roosting cover: scaled quail roosts were observed in yucca (Yucca angustifolia), tree cholla, and true mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus)-yucca-fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) vegetation types. The height of vegetation used for night roosts was less than 1.6 feet (0.5 m).[19]

Nesting cover: In March or April winter coveys spread out into areas with less cover. This use of areas with less cover coincides with a seasonal decrease in the number of raptors in the same area.[9] Scaled quail nests are constructed under tufts of grasses, and are sheltered by sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), creosotebush (Larrea tridentata), mesquite, catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii), cactus, or yucca;[14] under dead Russian-thistle (Salsola kali), mixed forbs, or soapweed yucca; or sheltered in old machinery or other human-made debris.[10] In Oklahoma, 66% of nests were in one of four situations: (1) dead Russian-thistle, (2) machinery and junk, (3) mixed forbs, and (4) soapweed yucca.[9] In New Mexico, ordination of breeding birds and vegetative microhabitats indicated that scaled quail were associated with increased levels of patchiness and increased cover of mesquite and cactus.[20]

Food habits[edit]

Scaled quail are opportunistic eaters.[5] Seeds are consumed year-round. Large seeds (such as those of mesquite and snakeweed) are important in Scaled quail diets.[21] Other seeds include those of elbowbush (Forestiera angustifolia), catclaw acacia, mesquite, hackberry (Celtis spp.), Russian-thistle, rough pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), and sunflowers, ragweeds (Ambrosia spp.), and other Asteraceous plants.[8] Scaled quail consume more grass seeds than do other quail species.[8] Other dietary components include leaves, fruits, and insects. Summer diets are high in green vegetation and insects, which are also important sources of moisture.[13]

In Oklahoma, small groups of scaled quail feed among soapweed yucca and in soapweed yucca-sand sagebrush ranges, weed patches, and grain stubble. Also in Oklahoma, early winter foods apparently eaten when other foods are not available included snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata), sand paspalum (Paspalum stramineum), field sandbur (Cenchrus pauciflorus), purslane (Portulaca spp.), skunkbush sumac, Fendler spurge (Euphorbia fendleri), and leaf bugs. Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) and juniper berries were always avoided.[9] Winter foods of the scaled quail in Oklahoma include Russian-thistle and sunflower (Helianthus spp.) seeds.[10]

In northwestern Texas, selection of foods by scaled quail was dependent on foraging techniques, availability, and seed size. Small seeds were selected when they were still on the plant and could be easily stripped, but were not eaten once they had fallen, presumably because they were too small and/or too hard to find. Broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae) was a staple in winter diets; it was not highly selected but was consumed in proportion to its availability (and lack of availability of choice items).[22] Generally, in Texas grass seeds (mainly tall dropseed [Sporobolus asper] and rough tridens [Tridens muticus]) were major constituents of scaled quail diets. This was attributed to a precipitation pattern that resulted in a relatively higher amount of grass seed available, and a lower amount of available forbs. In the same study green vegetation formed a higher proportion of the diet than reported for other areas.[23]

In southwestern Texas, chestnut-bellied scaled quail consumed woody plant seeds and green vegetation. The seeds of brush species comprised 68% of the contents of 32 scaled quail crops. Green food, chiefly wild carrot (Daucus carota) and clover (Trifolium spp.) made up 7.17%. Elbowbush was the single most important source, followed by Roemer acacia (Acacia roemeriana), desert-yaupon (Schaefferia cuneifolia), and spiny hackberry (Celtis pallida).[24]

In southeastern New Mexico, staples (comprising at least 5% of scaled quail diet in both summer and winter) were mesquite and croton (Croton spp.) seeds, green vegetation, and snout beetles. Nonpreferred foods eaten in winter and available but not consumed in summer included broom snakeweed (the main winter food), crown-beard (Verbesina encelioides), cycloloma (Cycloloma atriplicifolium), and lace bugs. Mesquite seeds and broom snakeweed seeds together made up 75% of the winter diet.[21] Grasshoppers were a summer staple. Insect galls, cicadas, scarab beetles, spurge (Euphorbia spp.), plains bristlegrass (Setaria macrostachya) seeds, and white ratany (Krameria grayi) were consumed in a less pronounced seasonal pattern.[21] Another study reported substantial amounts of prairie sunflower seeds (Helianthus petiolaris) and pigweed (Amaranthus spp.) seeds in the diet of scaled quail.[25]

Scaled quail feed in alfalfa (Medicago spp.) fields.[10]

Predators[edit]

In Arizona, potential scaled quail predators include mammals, birds, and reptiles. Most scaled quail kills are made by avian predators including northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus), and great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).[13] In New Mexico, predators on scaled quail include hawks, owls, coyote (Canis latrans), and snakes.[17] In Colorado, potential predators of scaled quail include coyote, gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), kit fox (V. velox), bobcat (Lynx rufus), northern harrier, rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus), prairie falcon, peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), American kestrel, golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), and bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).[11]

Scaled quail are popular gamebirds.[17]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of Agriculture document "Callipepla squamata".

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Callipepla squamata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Zink, Robert M. & Blackwell, Rachelle C. (1998). "Molecular systematics of the Scaled Quail complex (genus Callipepla)". Auk 115 (2): 394–403. doi:10.2307/4089198. 
  3. ^ a b Rea, Amadeo M. (1973). "The Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata) of the southwest: systematic and historical consideration". Condor 75 (3): 322–329. doi:10.2307/1366173. 
  4. ^ Sibley, Charles G.; Monroe, Burt L., Jr. (1990). Distribution and taxonomy of the birds of the world. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press ISBN 0300049692
  5. ^ a b c d e Johnsgard, Paul A. (1988) The quails, partridges, and francolins of the world. New York: Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-857193-3
  6. ^ Schemnitz, Sanford D. (1994): Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata). In: Poole, A. & Gill, F.: The Birds of North America 106. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA & The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
  7. ^ Ligon, J. S. (1961). New Mexico birds and where to find them. Alberquerque: University of New Mexico Press
  8. ^ a b c d e f DeGraaf, Richard M.; Scott, Virgil E.; Hamre, R. H.; et al. (1991). Forest and rangeland birds of the United States: Natural history and habitat use. Agric. Handb. 688. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Schemnitz, Sanford D. (1961). Ecology of the scaled quail in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Wildlife Monographs: No. 8. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society, pp. 5–47
  10. ^ a b c d e f Sutton, Geroge Miksch. (1967). Oklahoma birds: their ecology and distribution with comments on the avifauna of the southern Great Plains. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press
  11. ^ a b Snyder, Warren D. (1967). Experimental habitat improvement for scaled quail. Game bird surveys. Colorado Division of Wildlife. Project number W-037-R-18/WK.PL.06/JOB 1
  12. ^ Hoffman, Donald M. (1965). The scaled quail in Colorado: Range–population status–harvest. Tech. Publ. No. 18. Denver, CO: Colorado Department of Game, Fish, and Parks
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i Goodwin, John G., Jr.; Hungerford, C. Roger. 1977. Habitat use by native Gambel's and scaled quail and released masked bobwhite quail in southern Arizona. Res. Pap. RM-197. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station.
  14. ^ a b c d Harrison, H. H. (1979). A field guide to western birds' nests. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0618164375.
  15. ^ a b Wallmo, O. C. 1956. Ecology of scaled quail in west Texas. Contribution of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act; Special report: Project W-57-R; Department of Wildlife Management, A & M College of Texas. Austin, TX: Texas Game and Fish Commission, Division of Wildlife Restoration.
  16. ^ a b c d e Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dobkin, David S.; Wheye, Darryl. (1988) The birder's handbook: a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0671659898.
  17. ^ a b c Campbell, Howard; Martin, Donald K.; Ferkovich, Paul E.; Harris, Bruce K. (1973). Effects of hunting and some other environmental factors on scaled quail in New Mexico. Wildlife Monographs No. 34. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society
  18. ^ Stormer, Fred A. (1981). Characteristics of scaled quail loafing coverts in northwest Texas. Res. Note RM-395. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
  19. ^ Stormer, Fred A. (1984). "Night-Roosting Habitat of Scaled Quail". Journal of Wildlife Management 48 (1): 191–197. doi:10.2307/3808470. JSTOR 3808470. 
  20. ^ Naranjo, Luis G.; Raitt, Ralph J. (1993). "Breeding bird distribution in Chihuahuan Desert habitats". Southwestern Naturalist 38 (1): 43–51. doi:10.2307/3671643. JSTOR 3671643. 
  21. ^ a b c Nowak, Cheryl L.; Nowak, Robert S.; Tausch, Robin J.; Wigand, Peter E. (1994). "A 30,000 year record of vegetation dynamics at a semi-arid locale in the Great Basin". Journal of Vegetation Science 5 (4): 579–590. doi:10.2307/3235985. JSTOR 3235985. 
  22. ^ Ault, Stacey C.; Stormer, Fred A. (1983). "Seasonal food selection by scaled quail in northwest Texas". Journal of Wildlife Management 47 (1): 222–228. doi:10.2307/3808073. JSTOR 3808073. 
  23. ^ Leif, Anthony P. (1987). Bobwhite and scaled quail responses to burning of redberry juniper- dominated rangelands. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University. Thesis
  24. ^ Lehmann, Valgene W.; Ward, Herbert (1941). "Some Plants Valuable to Quail in Southwestern Texas". Journal of Wildlife Management 5 (2): 131–135. doi:10.2307/3795575. JSTOR 3795575. 
  25. ^ Best, Troy L.; Smartt, Richard A. (1985). "Foods of scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) in southeastern New Mexico". Texas Journal of Science 37 (2&3): 155–162. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Peterson, Roger Tory (1998): A Field Guide to the Birds of Texas and Adjacent States. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-92138-4
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: C. squamata and C. gambellii occasionally hybridize (AOU 1983). Study of genus Callipepla shows relationships of C. douglasii and C. squamata to C. californica and C. gambelii to be unclear (Zink and Blackwell 1998). Formerly in family Phasianidae; placed in family Odontophoridae by AOU (1997).

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Common Names

scaled quail
blue quail
cottontop

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The currently accepted scientific name for scaled quail is Callipepla
squamata (Vigors). It is a member of the pheasant family (Phasianidae)
(Sibley and Monroe classify this group as Odontiphoridae) [25].
Subspecies listed by Johnsgard [15] include the following:

Callipepla squamata ssp. castanogastris Brewster (chestnut-bellied quail)
C. s. ssp. hargravei Rea
C. s. ssp. pallida Brewster
C. s. ssp. squamata (Vigors).

Scaled quail hybridize with Gambel's quail (C. gambelii) [1], and with
northern bobwhites (Collinus virginiana) where their ranges overlap
[29]. Hybrids of scaled quail and elegant quail (C. douglasii) are
sterile [15].
  • 1. American Ornithologists' Union. 1983. Checklist of North American birds. 6th ed. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press, Inc. 877 p. [21234]
  • 15. Johnsgard, Paul A. 1988. The quails, partridges, and francolins of the world. New York: Oxford University Press. 264 p. [16199]
  • 25. Sibley, Charles G.; Monroe, Burt L., Jr. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of the birds of the world. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 1111 p. [22814]
  • 29. Sutton, Geroge Miksch. 1967. Oklahoma birds: their ecology and distribution with comments on the avifauna of the southern Great Plains. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. 674 p. [23000]

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