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- Callipepla squamata
10-12" (25-30 cm). A small stocky quail, gray-brown above, with buff-white crest. Bluish-gray feathers on breast and mantle have black semicircular edges, creating scaled effect; belly also has brown "scales." Sexes alike.
- C. s. squamata in central Mexico
- C. s. hargravei in New Mexico
- C. s. pallida in Mexico and southwestern United States
- C. s. castanogastris in Texas and northeastern Mexico
Though birds of arid habitat, Scaled Quail must visit water holes regularly. They nest in the rainy season, when moisture produces some vegetation, and do not breed during extremely dry summers. Their numbers fluctuate markedly from year to year, because the birds are sensitive to both drought and heavy rains. They spend most of the year in small flocks, breaking up into pairs at the beginning of the breeding season. Note the bushy white crest or "cotton top." A pale grayish quail ("Blue Quail") of arid country, with scaly markings on breast and back. Runs; often reluctant to fly.