Gambel’s Quail

Gambel’s Quail have small, rounded bodies and are grayish in color with chestnut sides, olive wings, a yellowish belly, and dark teardrop-shaped feather plume (topknot). Males have a black forehead and face that is surrounded by a white border. Females have a more dull and thin plume and lack the black face coloring of the males. They are fast runners and will fly only to escape danger or when they encounter obstacles such as roads.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Callipepla gambelii
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
1-4 Years
SIZE
9.8-10 ” | 0.35-0.44 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Upland Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Gambel’s Quail can be found among scrub vegetation and other plants like saguaro, catclaw acacia and saltbrush. They can be found in the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave deserts as well as some parts of the Great Basin.

  • Agricultural Lands
  • Mojave desert

Threats

  • Habitat Degradation

Natural History

Gambel’s Quail diet mostly consists of plants, which includes seeds, grasses, and leaves that are eaten throughout the year. They are well adapted to living in the harsh Mojave Desert climate that is found in southern Nevada. This is the land of extremes where daytime temperatures in the summer can exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius) and winter temperatures can drop to below freezing. This quail is native to the Mojave desert and the southern portion of the Great Basin. Their populations are dependent on precipitation that falls in the desert. When the rains come and grasses, seeds and water are abundant, they produce large broods of young, up to 15, and there are large numbers of birds. When it doesn’t rain, and drought conditions persist, they produce small broods, or may not even produce young in those years. Nests are hidden under shrubs or rocks for protection against predators, such as hawks.