California State Bird

California Quail

California state bird: CaliforniaQuail Callipepla californica

California State Bird Description:

  • Size: 9 to 11 inches (24-27 cm)
  • Wingspan: 13 - 15 inches (32-37 cm)
  • Weight: 4.94 to 8.12 ounces (140-230 g)

The California Quail has an overall color of blue-grey and brown. The crown is chestnut colored with streaking along the sides. It has a distinctive black and white pattern on the face and the belly has black and brown feather tips which makes the California Quail look like it has scaled under parts.

California Quail can be identified by their prominent teardrop-shaped plume or a double plume on the forehead. The males and females have the same markings except the males have a black throat and the females have more of a greyish colored throat with black streaks.


California Quail are found in open woodlands, bushy foothills, valleys with streams, suburbs and agricultural land.



The California Quail's diet includes seeds, leaves, flowers, and insects. They will also eat fruits and berries, when available.


California Quail's nests are made in depressions in the ground. They are lined with grass and weed stems. The clutch may contain as many as 28 eggs, with 13 to 17 eggs being the average. If the pair is not successful on their first attempt, they then make a second nesting attempt later in the summer.

A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know About the California State Bird:

  • Several California Quail broods may mix after hatching and are attended by all of the parents of those broods. Adults that engage in communal brooding live longer than adults that do not.
  • California Quail are quite social. During the fall season they travel in small groups, called coveys. These coveys vary in size and typically range from 25 to 40 birds, but coveys in excess of 1000 birds have been reported.
  • California Quail take "dust baths". They will use their underbellies to burrow downward into the soil some 1-2 inches. They then wriggle about in the indentations they have created, flapping their wings and ruffling their feathers, causing dust to rise in the air.

Areyou trying to find the California state bird? Click here to find out how.

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