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The best known North American Quail is the Northern Bobwhite.
The Northern Bobwhite is abundant in brush, abandoned fields and
open pinelands, but avoids deep forests.
It is 8.5 to 10.5 inches long, with a slight crest.
The call is a whistled: bob bob o white.
The bobwhite is a chunky, reddish brown quail with a gray tail.
Males of the northern populations are reddish brown above and
white, barred with black, on the belly. The throat and a line above the
eye are white; a broad black line extends from the eye backward and
around the throat. This white area is replaced by buff in
the otherwise similar females.
In winter, bobwhites are found in flocks. A flock of bobwhite or
quail is called a covey. If frightened, bobwhites prefer to run from
danger; when flushed, they fly rapidly, all at once with a loud
whirring sound, but quickly drop to earth.
The female lays 12 to 20 eggs, usually 14 to 16, which are incubated
by both parents for 23 to 24 days.
Monogamous, after the breeding season, bobwhites gather into coveys,
dispersing during the day for feeding and reassembling at night or in
adverse weather. The members of the covey seek warmth and protection
by huddling in a circle, with their heads turned outward.
In the western United States, the most familiar species is the California
quail, a handsome bird with a recurved black topknot.
A closely similar species, Gambel's quail, inhabits the deserts of the
southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.
Bobwhites & quail eat mainly vegetation including all sorts of seeds,
shoots, berries, and a small amount of insects.
Quails belong to the family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes.
American quails make up the subfamily Odontophorinae.
Eurasian quails make up the subfamily Phasianinae.
Types of North American Quail Include:
List of Birds of North America