California Quail Callipepla californica

  • Order: Galliformes
  • Family: Odontophoridae
  • Polytypic: 8 subspecies
  • Authors needed...

The California Quail was introduced into Chile in 1870 and it has expanded quickly and aggressively. Throughout the Central Zone and into the Lake District this species is now common, and often reaches abundances that clearly exceed what is observed in its native habitat of Western North America. The expansion of this species has now reached across to the east slope of the Andes into westernmost Argentina. Certainly the expansion continues, as this quail does well in seasonally arid areas that are either under the influence of agriculture, or have shrubby semi-open habitats, both of which occur in the Monte Desert of Argentina. In Chile country people know this species as the “Codorniz” and they suggest that over time this species has out-competed the native Chilean Tinamou (Nothoprocta perdicaria) although this is difficult to confirm. The two species do overlap closely in habitat, although the Tinamou will take grassier habitats, including crop land such as wheat and canola. The Quail tends to keep to the edge of agriculture in shrubby habitats and the like. On the other hand in villages and closer to homes, the quail is more likely to be found than the Tinamou.

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© Geoffrey A. Keller

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

California Quail (Callipepla californica), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: