Crested Bobwhite

(Colinus cristatus)

Other Names: Crested Quail. Also see subspecies for geographical names.

Range: Panama south into Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.

Subspecies: There are 14 different races. C. c. mariae, C. c. panamensis, C. c. decoratus, C. c. littoralis, C. c. cristatus, C. c. badius, White-eared Quail C. c. leucotis, C. c. bogotensis, Short-crested Quail C.c. parvicristatus, Horvath's Quail C. c. horvathi, C. c. continentis, C. c. barnesi, Mocquery's Quail C. c. mocquerysi, Sonnini's Bobwhite C. c. sonnini.

Habitat: Woodland edges and savannahs.

Description: As name suggests, this species sports a bushy, spiked crest. There is considerable geographical variation in the coloration of the face pattern, breast and crest length. cristatus (northern Colombia) has a lighter buff face pattern; the breast, abdomen and back of neck is chestnut, heavily spotted with white; mantle resembles Northern Bobwhite. sonnini (northern Venezuela to Brazil) has the longest crest, the face pattern is chestnut and there are no markings on the upper breast. parvicristatus (northeastern Colombia and western Venezuela) has the shortest crest. Females are also crested, but much shorter in length than the male. They are also generally duller, their plumage markings darker. I wish that I could provide more detailed descriptions and/or photos of the various subspecies, but there just isn't alot of information on this species.

Status in Wild: Believed to be common and even expanding their range in many areas due to forest clearing.

Avicultural Data

Status in Aviculture: Crested Bobwhite are still rather uncommon in captivity. I am not sure of the races that we keep here in the US. You will see many breeders with Colombian Crested Bobwhites listed, but there are 7 races in Colombia and they could all be a combination. More information is needed from those who have imported this species.

Breeding Age: First year.

Clutch Size: 8 to 16

Incubation Period: 22-23 days

Misc. Aviculture Notes: Tropical species that requires heated quarters in the winter months.


No images available for this species.

Photo Credits
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Any help with photos would be greatly appreciated; e-mail if you can help.

Bibliography and Further Reading


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