Mountain Quail

The Mountain Quail is a large quail with long, straight plumes on their heads. Identifiable by their gray head and back, chestnut throat patch, and barred white and brown pattern on their bellies.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Oreortyx pictus
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
1-3 Years
SIZE
10.2-11.4 ” | 0.44-0.56 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Priority Species
  • 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
  • Alpine forests of the Sierras
  • Marsh
  • Pinyon juniper forests

Threats

  • Habitat Loss

Natural History

Mountain Quail occupy different habitats throughout the year, moving between high and low elevations to find the best sources of food. Mountain quail forage by walking on the ground and using their feet to dig up small insects, plant bulbs, and seeds. They will also pick berries and other fruits off of vegetation in the late spring and summer. Mountain Quail nest on the ground and use pine needles and grasses for formation of a small cup. Fledgling chicks have been observed following around both parents for some time after leaving the nest. These quail have several methods of courtship behavior, ranging from parading and bowing, to using grasses or pine needles as a prop and throwing it over their back.

Fun Facts

Mountain Quails are incredibly elusive and not easy to find.