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cline01 (1K)

Scaled Quail
(Callipepla squamata)

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cline01 (1K)

Scaled Quail

Callipepla squamata
Photo by Dan Cowell


Additional Information

Breeding Season: As early as April and may last into September.

Breeding Age: First year.

Clutch Size: 12 to 14 eggs per clutch, but several clutches can be expected.

Incubation Period:: 22 to 23 days.

Description - Male: As their name suggests, the breast, belly, neck, back are bluish-gray feathers that are tipped with black that gives a "scaled" appearance. The white "cottontop" crest varies from white in the males to a light buff in the females. Terry Smith offers the following tip on sexing Scaled Quail: "If you are sexing Blue Scaled Quail, the head and the crest of the male are a bit larger than those of the hen. The most distinguishing feature is the faint yellow color which appears on the cock's throat. The hen's throat is ashy-gray in color." Females may also have dusky streaks on the throat (hargravi). The Chestnut-bellied males have a chestnut-red color in the belly. Hens may also show this color, but not as distinctive as the males.

Description - Female: Sexes similar.

Status in Captivity: Commonly kept in captivity with a large viable bloodline. The Chestnut-bellied race is also popular with fanciers.

Misc Notes: Scaled Quail are nervous birds by nature and will do best in an aviary that has more length than width. Provide plenty of branches and natural cover for the hens to lay their eggs under and to provide the birds with shelter to hide.

They are winter hardy, provided you can place several birds in one aviary for them to form a natural covey.

These quail love treats of mealworms and lots of fresh greens.


cline01 (1K)
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Bibliography and Further Reading

  • Hayes, LB. 1995. Upland Game Birds: Their Breeding and Care. Leland Hayes, Valley Center, CA.
  • Johnsgard, P.A. 1988. The Quails, Partridges, and Francolins of the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  • Madge, S., McGowan, P. 2002. Pheasants, Partridges, and Grouse. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.


cline01 (1K)


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