Merlin

Scaled Quail Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A compact chickenlike bird with a small head and a distinctive short crest. It has a plump body, short tail, and short, strong legs.

    Relative Size

    Slightly larger than a Northern Bobwhite; about the same size as a Gambel’s Quail.

    Relative Sizebetween robin and crowbetween robin and crow
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 9.8-13.8 in (25-35 cm)
      • Weight: 6.2-6.7 oz (177-191 g)
      • Wingspan: 15.0 in (38 cm)

Regional Differences

The four subspecies of Scaled Quail differ in their plumages. Two northern subspecies (hargravei and pallida) of southeastern Arizona through western Texas are paler than the Mexican subspecies squamata. Subspecies castanogastris, which ranges from central Texas into Mexico, is even paler and shows a deep chestnut belly patch.