Description of the Gambel's Quail


The Gambel’s Quail has grayish upperparts, a gray breast, a buffy belly, and reddish flanks streaked with white.  It also has a prominent topknot on its forehead.

Males have a blackish patch on the lower belly, a black face and throat, and a white eyeline.


Gambel's Quail


Females have a grayish head and throat, and an indistinct eyeline.


Gambel's Quail

Seasonal change in appearance



Juveniles are rather similar to adult females.


Gambel’s Quail are found in canyons and brushy deserts, usually near a water source.


Primarily seeds, leaves, and berries.


The Gambel’s Quail forages mostly on the ground, though it will visit low woody vegetation for leaves and berries.  During the nonbreeding season it often occurs in flocks.


Gambel’s Quail are found in the U.S. Desert Southwest and north into the Great Basin, as well as south into Mexico.  The population is stable.

Fun Facts

Coveys of Gambel’s Quail can often be seen visiting water sources early and late in the day.

Coveys often roost together at night, low in a shrub or tree.


The song is a four note "chi-ca-go-go".  A variety of call notes are also made.


The nest is typically a shallow depression lined with grass and leaves.

Number: Usually lay 10-12 eggs.
Color: White or buffy and heavily marked.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 21-24 days, and leave the nest within 1 day, though continuing to associate with the adults for some time