<< Previous Next >>

Scaled Quail

Scaled Quail
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5084 W: 166 N: 13009] (48434)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-09-03 6:59
Viewed: 5453
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Against a rocky background I saw this beauty, a Scaled Quail in Burger’s Zoo in Arnhem in a very large desert hall.
The information in Wikipedia about this bird is very much. So made a selection.

The Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), also commonly called Blue Quail or Cottontop, is a species of the New World quail family. It is a bluish gray bird found in the arid regions of the Southwestern United States to Central Mexico. This species is an early offshoot of the genus Callipepla, diverging in the Pliocene.

This bird is named for the scaly appearance of its breast and back feathers. Along with its scaly markings, the bird is easily identified by its white crest that resembles a tuft of cotton.

The nest is typically a grass-lined hollow containing 9–16 speckled eggs. When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly.

Widespread and common throughout its range, the scaled quail is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Distribution and taxonomy
Scaled quail occur from south-central Arizona, northern New Mexico, east-central Colorado, and southwestern Kansas south through western Oklahoma and western and central Texas into Mexico to northeastern Jalisco, Guanajuato, Queretaru, Hidalgo, and western Tamaulipas. It has been introduced to Hawaii, central Washington, eastern Nevada, and Nebraska, but is only considered established in central Washington and eastern Nevada.

Preferred habitat
Scaled quail inhabit dry, open valleys, plains, foothills, rocky slopes, draws, gullies, and canyons that have a mixture of bare ground, low herbaceous growth, and scattered brushy cover. Good scaled quail habitat is characterized by low-growing grasses with forbs and shrubs.
An absolute requirement by scaled quail for a source of open water has not been established; there is some debate in the literature whether there is such a requirement.

Cover requirements
Feeding cover: Scaled quail use grass clumps and shrubs for cover while feeding. When disturbed, scaled quail hid in snakeweed (Gutierrezia spp.) or in grass clumps. In June and July foraging occurs on open grasslands which are not used at other times.
Loafing cover: Scaled quail coveys occupy loafing or resting cover after early morning feeding periods.
Night-roosting cover: Scaled quail roosts were observed in yucca (Yucca angustifolia), tree cholla, and true mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus)-yucca-fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) vegetation types.
Nesting cover: In March or April winter coveys spread out into areas with less cover. This use of areas with less cover coincides with a seasonal decrease in the number of raptors in the same area.

Food habits
Scaled quail are opportunistic eaters. Seeds are consumed year-round. Large seeds (such as those of mesquite and snakeweed) are important in scaled quail diets. Other seeds include those of elbowbush (Adelia angustifolia), catclaw acacia , mesquite, hackberry (Celtis spp.), Russian-thistle, rough pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), and sunflowers, ragweeds (Ambrosia spp.), and other Asteraceous plants. Other dietary components include leaves, fruits, and insects. Summer diets are high in green vegetation and insects, which are also important sources of moisture.

In Arizona, potential scaled quail predators include mammals, birds, and reptiles. Most scaled quail kills are made by avian predators including northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus), and great horned owl (Bubo virginianus). In New Mexico, predators on scaled quail include hawks, owls, coyote (Canis latrans), and snakes. In Colorado, potential predators of scaled quail include coyote, gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), kit fox (V. velox), bobcat (Lynx rufus), northern harrier, rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus), prairie falcon, peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), American kestrel, golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), and bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).

Scaled quail are popular gamebirds.

Source: Wikipedia.

goldyrs, marius-secan, ikonta, paolo49, eqshannon, Gert-Paassen, siggi, jaycee, Luis52, haraprasan, boreocypriensis, rousettus, anel, bahadir, anemone, maurydv, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

hallo Peter
ook toevallig ,weer naast elkaar
deze is wel erg mooi getekend,daar hou ik van
super scherp , en mooi zo op de rots
super mooie kleuren en veel details
great shot
groetjes lou

Simply stunning, Peter!
You've brought out the plumage so well here!

Ciao Peter. Best compliments fot this curt bird with his graphic end coloured dress. Good focused eye.


Hello Peter,
Superb capture with oustanding details and colours.
Perfect capture with excellent POV. Very nice composition and
perfect focus.

Ciao Peter, wonderful bird with fantastic metallic colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5804 W: 89 N: 14916] (62531)
  • [2010-09-03 8:26]

Hi Peter,your gallery is a collection of wonders!What a new and fantastic bird,a spectacular design and colors of plums,impressive pic whit the best contrast whit the background!Thanks for share,have a nice weekend,Luciano

Hello Peter,
good contrast and sharpness, very good exposure and colors. Excellent contrasts in the photo.

Hello Peter,
great capture for this bird. details, colors and sharpness, perfect. Regards, Paolo

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1328] (10691)
  • [2010-09-03 10:42]

Dag Peter,

Heel aparte vogel, nooit eerder gezien. Het lijkt wel of hij schubben heeft in plaats van veren.Mooie pose en dito kleuren.


The colour of the scaling and sun makes it many more times easier to get a picture of this brand than say the California version.

Hi Peter

WOW, the colors on the chest and the texture are just amazing, you captured the beauty of this bird superbly. I just saw it for the first time in May, grazing on a vacant lot on the suburbs of Puerto Vallarta, unfortunately I didnt have my binoculars handy and I couldnt see the details on it, but your picture makes me really wish for a second sighting of this beautiful bird!

Thank you

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5077 W: 260 N: 15590] (50614)
  • [2010-09-03 11:19]

Hello Peter,
This is a species of quail that has been shown on TN both by Luis and Jane, but this, though a captive bird, is in prime condition and you have taken a fine shot that shows its features with excellent sharpness, colours and lighting.
The pose is great too and set in a pleasing composition. Though the colour contrast is not ideal, the rock BG is sufficiently OOF for this Scaled Quail to show well.
Thanks and have a good weekend,

Hallo Peter,

alweer een mooie foto uit een dierentuin.
Goede schepte en detailering met mooie dof.
Prchtige kleuren.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-09-03 13:13]

Hello Peter,
a very beautiful portrait of this Scaled Quail in a lovely classic pose, very good sharpness and natural colours, excelent POV and composition.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2461 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-09-03 16:51]

Hi Peter,

I love this bird and wish there were more of them around here! The Quail and the setting could very well be my backyard. A wonderful close-up of his scaled body, adorable crest and expressive face. Colors and details are excellent. What a marvelous zoo this must be.


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-09-03 18:20]

Hola Peter.
It's a big surprise for me to find in your gallery a scaled quail, in such detail in the image and highlighting its beautiful attributes in the plumage of this species of bird.
They are very popular in the region where I live, and I have some pictures here in TN too.
For these days already have many chicks always are together for the rest of their lives.
A very beautiful image and excellent written note Peter.
Regards and TFS My friend.

Hola Peter

Una bonita ave, con esos colores en tonos azules estupendos, muy graciosa su cresta. Buena composición y nitidez. Buen POV.

Un saludo y buen fin de semana.

amazing quail, greetings Ori

Hi Peter,
A lovely capture of this beautiful scaled quail. Excellent sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Dear MF peter, since i am in journey, i have limited time for connection! Sorry for short comments!
Lovely capture of this cute bird. Great eye contact MF!
TFS and TC!


Hallo Peter,
what a handsome quail species and its wonderful shot. you great catched its eyes. great sharp focus an light using. exposure, POV/DOF and BG great. nicely composed.
Thanks for sharing, have a good night,

Peter, this is a great shot. Great job in capturing it. Have a great weekend, Bill

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3043 W: 3 N: 8701] (40526)
  • [2010-09-05 4:55]

Hello Peter,
This Scaled Quail with its wonderful blueish-grey plumage has been well taken from a lower point of view by you. The attitude is interesting and the grey background gives to the picture a very harmonious touch. A beautiful bird, indeed!
Kind regards

Hello Peter,
beautiful photo, beautiful colors, excellent contrast and sharpness.
Congratulations and thanks for sharing.
Hello Vanni

Haha:) what a lovely bird Peter. Its body looks like a fish:)
Great shot!
TFS and regards,

Bonsoir Peter
Quelle fičre allure avec sa houppette redressée.
Merci pour cette pose montrant beaucoup de détails

Hi Peter. Impressive and lovely capture.. Details and composition are great.
Kind regards,

Hallo Peter,
another superb portrait of different birds, very good sharpness and splendi colours, a very pleasing composition wit a marvellous pose of this very beautiful bird.
Best regards

Hello Peter

Very beautiful photo of the Scaled Quail,
with his lovely eye-contact and wonderful plumage,
very fine POV at its level, beautiful light,
great focus, sharpness and details, TFS


Calibration Check