The Scaled Quail, commonly often called Blue Quail, Blue Scaled Quail or Cottontop Quail is a bluish gray coloured quail species.
They got their name after the scaly pattern of their feathers on their chest and back and recognisable by the cotton tuft-like white crest on the top of the head.
The Blue Scaled Quail is native in a relatively narrow geographical area, in the US and both side of the Rio Grande in North Mexico. They prefer bushy, semi-desert and woodlands environment and feel the best at around 1050-1400 metres above sea level.
They are very sociable birds, sometimes, especially in the winter they can be seen in a flock of no less than 200 birds. The Scaled Quail’s nesting habits are not unambiguous. They like to take over deserted old nests on the ground as well as some nests up on trees. The hens lay between 12-16 eggs which take 22-23 days to hatch.
In the wild the Scaled quail chicks feed mainly on insects at first, then as they grow up gradually change to a vegetable diet. One of their favourite is sunflower seeds but they also like ragweed and sumac. In captivity breeders feed them on chick crumbs or mixed corn mash.
There are 4 subspecies of the Scaled Quail:
1. Callipepla squamata squamata (Altiplano Scaled Quail)
2. Callipepla squamata pallid (Northern Scaled Quail)
3. Callipepla squamata hargravei (Upper Sonoran Scaled Quail)
4. Callipepla squamata castanogastris (Chestnut-bellied Scaled Quail)
Watch this short video about Scaled Quail