Gambel’s quail (Callipelpa gambelii), at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. There were about seven chicks in this little family covey. This photo was actually taken in July. The babies are now maladjusted teenagers, and not nearly as cute. 

Etymology note: The genus name Callipelpa means beautifully adorned, from Greek words kαλός (beautiful) and πέπλος (a woman’s garment). The name refers to the striking plume that both male and female birds display. It is generally thought that the topknot evolved as a sexual attractant. That it occurs on both males and females suggests that both sexes exert preferences when selecting a mate. 


Happy National Bird Day! Southern Arizona is world famous as a hot spot for bird watchers. Here at Biosphere 2 we commonly see scrub jay, gambel’s quail, raven, cardinal, great horned owl, cooper’s hawk, redtailed hawk, harris’s hawk, turkey vulture, gila woodpecker, say’s phoebe, curve-billed thrasher, hooded oriole, canyon towhee, phainopepla and many other seasonal migrants, including warblers, hummingbirds and sparrows.

Did you know that nearly 12 percent of the world’s 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century? Birds are sentinel species whose plight serves as barometer of ecosystem health and alert system for detecting global environmental ills.

Thursday Bird: Gambel’s Quail

Hey what’s up it’s the Gambel’s Quail! It looks like the California Quail, but has a cream colored belly. Here it is making ridiculous sounds.

Their ranges don’t overlap with the California Quail. Gambel’s Quails live in the brushy, arid Southwestern deserts of Mojave, Sonora and Chihuahua east of the Sierra Nevadas while California Quails are west of the SN, living in hilly areas.

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Look at this fluffy boy.

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Both males and females have the little dingler up top (called a topnotch.)

on the moooove. gambel’s quails scurry about in groups called coveys which can have up to 16 kids to an adult pair.

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ahhhh. gambel’s quail it’s okay you can calm down now, everything is thursburd for you

this thursburd in baker, ca and phoenix, az