11 Types of Quail in California

Types of Quail in California
Photo by JAdamsID

If you’re unfamiliar with the different types of quail, here’s an overview of the most common types in California that you may want to keep on your radar when hunting or keeping them as pets.

There are several different types of quail in California, and each one lives in a unique environment across the state’s diverse landscape.

Depending on where you live, you may have the opportunity to spot some of these unique birds from the comfort of your backyard or even while taking an early morning jog through the park.

So without further ado, here are different types of quail in California.

1. Mountain Blue Quail

California is home to five different types of quail. The Mountain Blue Quail is the most significant type and can be found from the Sierra Nevada mountain range down to Southern California

These different types of quail in California only have proof that they are about 18,000 strong because they are hunted for their meat and feathers. Predators like bobcats and coyotes also eat them.

2. Elegant Quail

The elegant quail is a rare species only found in Southern California. It has a distinctive white crest on its head, making it easy to identify from other types of quail in California. The elegant quail lives mainly off bugs and invertebrates on the ground. 

They can often be seen at dusk looking for food, as they prefer to eat at night when the temperature is more relaxed.

When threatened, the elegant quail will fly up to about five feet before dropping back down and hiding behind grass or weeds. 

The elegant quail is one of the types of quail in California. Five varieties are found only on Catalina Island, off Santa Barbara. 

3. Gambel’s Quail

California’s callbacks are a type of quail that live in dry regions but can also be found in wetter areas like the San Francisco Bay Area. These birds feed on seeds, grains, insects, and other small animals.

The blue quails are found mainly in central coastal areas with plenty of water to drink from or near wetlands where they can find food by wading through the water with their long toes. 

They prefer this habitat because it provides shelter from predators and moist ground for their eggs to hatch. When not living in these habitats, these different types of quail in California travel long distances, looking for food and water sources.

4. Scaled Quail

One type of quail that can be found in California is the scaled quail. They live on the ground but also like to roost up in trees. They are most active at dawn and dusk, so they’re usually easy to spot. 

They’re small- usually only about 8 inches long and weighing only a couple of ounces. Their feathers are soft and fluffy too, which makes them cute.

These different types of quail in California usually lay eggs every other day during the breeding season, which lasts from April to July or August. 

The males take care of the nest while the females go off to find food. Scaled quails prefer eating seeds, berries, and insects such as grasshoppers and crickets.

5. California Valley Quail

You can find many different types of quail in California, but the most common is the valley quail. The valley quail is native to the state, which means they have been roaming around for a while now.

They are small birds that are brown with a white stripe down their back. They also have black and white markings on their face and chest.

If you see one or any other types of quail in California, keep an eye on it because it may be an endangered species. When you think of a quail, this guy should also come to mind. 

He’s known as Gobernador del Desierto, which translates into the governor of the desert. These guys are small, so they’re not hard to miss if you see them during your stay in the state. 

6. Montezuma Quail

The Montezuma quail is a small, stocky bird found throughout Southern and Central America. It’s also known as a half-footer because it’s only half the size of other types of quail in California, like the Gambel or Scaled.

The Montezuma quail is known for its reluctance to fly and will often run away when threatened. This makes it easier to prey on predators and hunters alike.

To survive, the Montezuma quail has evolved with thicker feathers on its underside and longer tail feathers so it can fly for short periods. They are typically brownish with black spots running down their backs.

7. Button Quail

There are several types of quail that you can find in California. Button quail are the most common, found throughout most of the state.

These different types of quail in California have a rounded head, short beak, thick neck, and long, pointed tail feathers. 

They live near water sources such as streams, ponds, or marshes and forage for land and water. The eggs are pinkish-white with dark dots, and the females care for their young until they’re about five weeks old. After this time, it’s common to see many button quail together because they form large colonies. 

8. Gray-Breasted Bobwhite

The Gray-breasted Bobwhite is a ground-dwelling quail with a brown, white, and black coloration. They are often found near water sources such as lakes and streams.

This type of quail is hunted frequently because they are so common but is not listed as an endangered species. 

It’s the official bird for Texas, where the Gray-breasted Bobwhite was first discovered. It was initially called Bob White Quail until 1832, when naturalist John James Audubon changed its name to honor his friend Robert Havell Jr. who illustrated his book.

These different types of quail in California can be seen all year round, with peaks during the spring and autumn.

9. King Quail

Quails are a type of bird that can be found throughout the world. There are many different types of quails, but the one most often seen in California is the king quail. California is home to a variety of different types of quail. 

The most common type is the king quail, which is brown and has speckled feathers. They are omnivores, so they will eat both plants and insects to sustain themselves.

They produce a call that sounds like kaw-see and usually makes their homes in bushes or thickets.

King quails have brown feathers and a black stripe across their chest. These different types of quail in California live near water sources and eat seeds, insects, and other small animals.

If you plan on keeping them as pets, you need to provide fresh water daily, or they will not survive well.

10 Common Quail

The common quail is the most widespread variety of quail. They are also the largest, measuring about 13 inches long with a wingspan of around 18 inches.

While some common quails are browner, they have a white patch at their throat, white outer tail feathers, and black-tipped red beaks. 

The males grow up to 5 pounds while females weigh less than 2 pounds. They are friendly birds, often seen roaming about in groups called coveys and usually flying together when startled. They also like to roost together at night. 

11. Coturnix Quail

California is a great place to visit. Whether you want to go hiking, see some beautiful scenery, or just get out of the city for a bit, there are plenty of options available in this state.

But what about if you are more interested in wildlife? There are some rare and exciting types of animals that can be found here that you might not expect.

 One type we will talk about today is the Coturnix quail, also known as the California quail. These types of quail in California are small with short wings and long, pointed tails. 

They have brown feathers with white spots on their chests and black stripes running down their necks. The males have bright yellow breasts, while the females have a more muted brown chest coloration.


There are many different types of quail in California, and they are all unique. Some are threatened and endangered, while others live a more normal existence. It is essential to know the difference between these types to preserve them.

For example, some quails have habitats that are only found in some areas of California. If their habitat gets destroyed or reduced by urbanization or drought, it could spell disaster for them.

Knowing about the types of quail in California will help you understand how important it is to protect each type, not just one.

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