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Montezuma Quail

Cyrtonyx montezumae ORDER: GALLIFORMES FAMILY: ODONTOPHORIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The strikingly marked Montezuma Quail is a bird of Mexican Mountains, reaching the United States only in southern Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
7.9–9.1 in
20–23 cm
Wingspan
16.1–16.9 in
41–43 cm
Weight
4.3–8.1 oz
122–230 g
Other Names
  • Harlequin Quail
  • Colin arlequin (French)
  • Codorniz Moctezuma (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Montezuma Quail usually crouches and stays still when danger threatens, and then explodes into flight from a leaping start if the danger comes too close. In captivity, even with clipped wings, it can leap at least 2 m (6.5 feet) straight up, often with enough force to cause severe injury or death if it strikes the roof of a cage.

Habitat


Open Woodland

Pine-oak forest, arid montane scrub, and northern temperate grassland.

Food


Omnivore

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–15 eggs
Condition at Hatching
Downy and able to follow mother.
Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Ground Forager

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

The secretive nature of the species makes obtaining accurate population estimates difficult. It is hunted in the three states where it occurs.

Credits

  • Stromberg, M. R. 2000. Montezuma Quail (Cyrtonyx montezumae). In The Birds of North America No. 524 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Montezuma Quail Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings