Mountain Quail

Mountain Quail
Mountain Quail Male

Mountain Quail (Oreortyx pictus) The Mountain Quail is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family, it's range is Western North America, from Washington south to northern Baja California with a habitat of mixed evergreen forests and woodlands.

The largest North American quail, the Mountain Quail is distinguished from the other western plumed species in both sexes having straight, narrow crests. The bird's average length is 26 to 28 cm, with a wingspan of 35 to 40 cm, they have relatively short, rounded wings and long, featherless legs. The crests are black and consist of only two feathers, the female's crest is usually shorter and more brownish than the male, otherwise the sexes are similar.

The mountain Quail's breeding season is late March & early April to June. With a clutch size of 6 to 15 eggs with a color of pale buff to cream. Incubation takes 24 to 25 days to incubate at 99.5° relative Humidity 60 to 65%, stop turinig eggs on the 22 day and raise humidity to 80 to 85%.

Mountain Quail Egg

Mountain Quail do very when kept in large aviaries with lots of evergreen branches for them to perch and hide. A hardy species, they are very adaptable and can withstand both extremes of temperature. Artificially reared chicks are prone to toe picking. Can be controlled by placing alfalfa hay on bottom of brooder, use dimly lit brooders and/or trim the upper beak back about 1/3. If you need to feed mealworms to encourage the birds to eat, cut into small pieces and only feed for a few days (the worms resemble toes).

Mountain Quail Distribution Map
Map Source USGS