Scaled Quail: Large quail AKA "cottontop," due to its white-tipped gray crest; nape, neck underparts have dark-edged gray and buff feathers creating a distinctly scaled look. Upperparts are plain gray with white stripe at base of wings; sides are gray with short white stripes. Pale brown legs, feet.
Range and Habitat
Scaled Quail: Found primarily in New Mexico, western Texas, and portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Inhabits open landscapes, desert grassland, thorn-scrub and savanna. Populations have declined since the 1940's, perhaps due to habitat loss.
The Scaled Quail usually runs to escape enemies rather than fly.
A first-year mortality of 70 percent or more is normal. Large fluctuations in population size are common and lowest numbers follow several years of drought.
They generally roost in groups of two or more, tail-to-tail in a tight circle on the ground.
A group of quails has many collective nouns, including a "battery", "drift", "flush", "rout", and "shake" of quails.
The Scaled Quail has a large range, estimated globally at 1,400,000 square kilometers. Native to the United States and Mexico, this bird prefers subtropical or tropical shrubland or temperate grassland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Scaled Quail is Least Concern.