Scaled Quail

Callipepla squamata

Scaled Quail may not look like their Gambel’s and California cousins, but they are closely related. The crests on chicks of Gambel’s Quail look much like the crests on adult Scaled Quail. These birds thrive in open grassland habitats with scattered brush and cactus and range from southeastern Arizona northwest through New Mexico and southern Colorado, and south through west Texas into central Mexico.

Science recognises at least four subspecies of Scaled Quail, but it is C. s. pallida found across Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Northern Texas and the states of Sonora and Chihuahua (Mexico) that I’ve met so far.

I’d hoped to find Scaled Quail in Texas during my 2020 Spring expedition, but they eluded me until I crossed over the border of New Mexico on my way home. It was in Roswell (New Mexico) at Bitter Lake NWR that these birds gave themselves to me and my camera.

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