Plate 15: California Quail

Callipepla californica

Nests & Eggs: California Quail

Very different in appearance from the Eastern Quail, the California Quail is mostly black, white, and gray with a plume. And while the Eastern Quail’s call gives him the nickname Bobwhite, the California Quail longs for Chi-ca-go!

Colinus virginianus

This chunky little brown quail is popular in every region where he resides. Hunters spend thousands of dollars each year in pursuit of this feathered bombshell. Farmers appreciate having such an active ally in their fight against the hordes of insects which menace their crops. They enjoy hearing his cheerful whistle as they go about their daily chores. Birders are happy to know this is one bird which offers no problem for they can list him by either sight or sound. Anyone can point with pride to this bird’s good character for the male can, and often does, take charge of the brood, teaching them how to exist in a hostile world.

The male shows a white throat and line over the eye, while the female is content to wear buffy feathers which make her only a little less colorful. Bobwhites nest and roost on the ground and will spend their entire lives in a limited area if shelter, food and water are available. Many farmers co-operate with their little neighbors by planting blackberries, multiflora rose, or raspberries along their fences, not farming the last inch of every corner of the field. Some even leave a little milo or other grain unharvested near the edge of their fields. Such practices pay dividends in the harvest of insects consumed by Bobwhites.

Introduction to Our Bird Friends, Vol. II
  • Print out the notebooking pages provided below.
  • Read The Bobwhite or Quail story in Bird Biographies out loud.
  • Have a younger student orally narrate what was read. He can then copy a few lines of his narration onto the notebooking pages.
  • Older students can read the text, Plate XV: California Quail, and provide a written narration.
  • Sketch the bird. This encourages attention to detail, which will aid in identifying the bird later on. Another option is to use the printables provided below.
  • Sketch the nest of the bird, along with the eggs. Note where the nest is usually found.
  • Older students can include the taxonomy.
  • Learn more about the California Quail and the Northern Bobwhite at Cornell.
  • On one notebooking page note the facts:
    • Description.
    • Habitat.
    • Range.
    • Food.
    • Nest.
    • Eggs.
    • Call.
  • The bobwhite quail is covered in The Burgess Bird Book: CHAPTER XIV. Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark.
Additional Resources

30 Narration Ideas
At some point you might appreciate some variety.

The Bird Study sections of our free nature study series: Our Wonderful World:

Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World
Printables & Notebooking Pages

California Quail Notebooking Pages
Free simple notebooking set.

Bobwhite Quail and California Partridge
Bird picture for notebook.

Bob White
Corresponding print from The Burgess Bird Book.

Fifty Favorite Birds Coloring Book

Fifty Favorite Birds Coloring Book
Dover Nature Coloring Book based on Fifty Birds of Town and City by Bob Hines. Includes the bobwhite.

California Quail Range Map
For notebook from Cornell.

Northern Bobwhite Range Map
For notebook from Cornell.

Bird Facts Notebooking Page
One option in a more graphic organizer style that is especially nice for noting the facts and range.

Enjoy the entire series:


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