The scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) is a ground dwelling bird. The scaled quail is also called the blue quail or cotton top. The scaled quail make their habitat in desert grassland and shrub lands. The quail weigh 6 oz and are 9 to 13 inches tall. Scaled quail feed on seeds, leaves and insects. Scaled quail are found in southwestern portion of the United States and Northern Mexico. The quail are swift on prefer to run than fly.the scale quail gets is name by the scale A female quail could hatch ten to fourteen chicks. They form flocks which could be 20-200 birds, but decrease due to predation and hunting.
The scaled quail population has been declining since the 1960(Pheasant et al. 2006). Plant and shrub cover is important part of the scaled quail’s habitat. The quail rest, hide, roost and nest in covered areas. The Journal of Wildlife Management states, “Drought and overgrazing by livestock increase the percentage of bare grounds and reduce visual obstruction; these are likely contributors to the reduced scaled quail populations (Pheasant et al. 2006).” Disease, weather, increased predator populations have also decreased the scaled quail population. Chapter 21 states, “Disturbances that are too frequent or too extreme can radically alter an ecosystem, changing it to a different state (Sinclair et al. 2009).”
A study was conducted from 1999-mid July 2000 on the scale quail nesting success in Southwestern Texas. The concern was the decrease in population due to disturbances in the environment. The researchers studied an area of land close to a cattle ranch and on the cattle ranch. The area where the cattle where not located provided a 20% increase in successful nesting (Pheasant et al. 2006). The area where the cattle where located did not provide enough cover for the hens to nest. The Journal of Wildlife Management stated, “The larger patches lead to greater nest success because predators have a larger area to search through (Pheasant et al. 2006).” The researchers encourage the ranchers in the area to provide some area for the quail where cattle are not present during the roosting season.
The scaled quail need a habitat with plenty of plants and shrubs to increase populations. The grass, seeds, insects provide food for the scale quail. The thick grasses provide successful nesting for the quail.