Fun Elegant Quail Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Elegant Quail Facts For Kids

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Mexico is a country full of beautiful and exciting species of wildlife. Mexico is rich in native species and is also home to numerous migratory birds. Birds play an essential role in Mexican ecology. The official animal of Mexico is the eagle. In this article, we will explore elegant quails!

Quails are small birds with stocky bodies and long pointed wings. These species are divided into Old World quails (classified in the family Phasianidae)and New world quails (classified under the family Odontophoridae). The elegant quail, Callipepla douglasii, (genus: Callipepla) is a desert quail that belongs to the species of New World birds. The common name of this bird is Benson quail. These species are endemic to the Pacific thorn forest of North-Western Mexico, from southern Sonora to Nayarit, found feeding on the roadsides during early mornings and late nights. These are also commercial game birds because of their high demand for their meat and bright eggs. Quail meat is higher in protein and less fat, and quail eggs are rich sources of vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids.

To know more facts about this New world species bird, the elegant quail - Callipepla douglasii, go through the detailed content below. Also, check out our other animal facts pages like the greater sage grouse interesting facts and the hummingbird facts for kids.

Fun Elegant Quail Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Leaves, tubers, seeds, worms, roots

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

8-12 eggs

How much do they weigh?

5.64-6.7 oz (160–190 g)

How long are they?

8.66-10.03 in (22-25·5 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Dogs, Snakes, Hawks, Cats, Squirrels

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Cultivated Fields, Tropical Lowlands, Open Ground


Mexico, Sonora









Elegant Quail Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an elegant quail?

The elegant quail, Callipepla douglasii, is a New World quail species that belongs to the Odontophoridae family and in the genus Callipepla, order Galliformes. The quails that belong to this family have short and yet powerful legs. The other subspecies related to the genus Callipepla are Callipepla California -  California quail, Callipepla gambelii - Gambel's quail, and Callipepla Squamata - Scaled quail.

What class of animal does an elegant quail belong to?

The elegant quail (genus Callipepla) found only in Mexico belongs to the Aves class. Aves class birds are warm-blooded vertebrates with high metabolic rates and strong yet lightweight skeletons.

How many elegant quails are there in the world?

Elegant quails are not Endangered species; they are Least Concern quail species endemic to Mexico. The total count of elegant quails, Callipepla douglasii, is unknown.

Though these species are considered as Least Concern and endemic to Mexico the exact number of the elegant quail, Callipepla douglasii, is unknown.

Where does an elegant quail live?

This small game bird, the elegant quail, is common in overgrown weedy fields and brushy woodlands of Mexico country on the Pacific slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental. They range from Sonora and southwestern Chihuahua to northern Jalisco. These birds are endemic in Mexico.

What is an elegant quail's habitat?

The habitats of ground-dwelling birds: elegant quail are deciduous forests, thorny scrub, open ground and cultivated fields, tropical lowlands, and foothills.

Who do elegant quails live with?

A group of quails is called bevy, covey, queer, or flock. The birds of Mexico, elegant quails, are social birds that like to live in groups and may get depressed if left alone. Elegant quails live in coveys number range from5-15 individual birds, and no other quail species are found near these elegant birds.

How long does an elegant quail live?

The life span of elegant quail, Callipepla douglasii, is unknown, but its relative species, California quail, is recorded as 6.9 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The birds (Callipepla douglasii) are found in groups. The breeding season of elegant quail is between April-May, whereas coveys breakup in mid-April. Nesting happens in early May. Nests are made on the ground, where the quails lay 8-12 eggs and sometimes up to 20. The eggs are in pure white color. The incubation period of elegant quail is 22 or 23 days, the same as related species of Callipepla.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of elegant quail (Callipepla douglasii) is Least Concern as per the IUCN list. They spread in a wide range, occupying a land area of 118,000 sq km (45,560 sq mi). Degradation of forests is helping in increasing its population, as it is a habitat of open areas.

Elegant Quail Fun Facts

What do elegant quails look like?

In terms of the identification and appearance of the species, the elegant bird quail is similar to its subspecies - Callipepla californic - California quail, Callipepla gambelii - Gambel's quail, and Callipepla squamata - scaled quail, but can be distinguished by the color of the male's crest and by the spotting on the flanks are found in Mexico.

The male's head is gray with black marks on the sides of the head and neck, and throat. The upper chest and back are gray to bluish, whereas underparts are gray with white spots. Wings are in gray-brown, with gray-colored tail, and under tail is dusky brown edged with tawny. It has an orange-colored long vertical crest. Both sexes have black beaks and dark gray to black legs.

Female elegant quails have a shorter crest compared to males in dusky brown color. The body plumage is in mottled gray and brown. The head is brown with black and white marks on the neck and throat, whereas upper portions of wings, back, and tail are mottled with grays and browns.

Elegant quail is a bird with a charming, friendly nature.

How cute are they?

These birds are cute ones with friendly and charming nature, which entertain you with their actions. These charming little birds will entertain you with their chirruping sound and funny antics.

How do they communicate?

The most common vocalization in elegant quails is a 'chip-chip' call, used as a signal by team members covey to remain in contact, and the 'cu-cow' call is used as a signal by team members to gather at the roosting site in the morning and evening before going to forage in the forest. When these elegant quails are disturbed, they utter a chipping 'chip-chip' vocal call, and when held in the hand, these birds produce sharp distress long series of whistles for at least 10 seconds.

How big is an elegant quail?

The length of the elegant quail is 8.66-10.03 in (22 - 25·5 cm) with an average weight of 5.64-6.7 oz (160–190 g). Its weight is relatively more significant than the (Callipepla squamata) scaled quail 6.34 oz (180 g), found a habitat of desert grasslands of Southwestern United States to Central Mexico. The Bobwhite quail is almost similar in size or a little bigger compared to elegant quails.

How fast can an elegant quail fly?

The exact data about the speed of the elegant quail is unknown, but as quails are bottom dwellers and laidback birds who generally prefer to spend time with other teammates on the ground levels rather than flying. But when the quails encounter danger, they fly away through the brush or fly at short distances with a speed of 40 mph (64.3 kph).

How much does an elegant quail weigh?

The weight of elegant quail, Callipepla douglasii, is 5.64-6.7 oz ( 160–190 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The female quail is called a hen, and the male quail is called a roo or a cock. Both males and females share equal responsibility to select the nesting sites, incubate the eggs, and raise the young ones.

The female's crest is gray, whereas the male has a long, straight, and golden-buff crest. In other ways, both the sexes have a striking appearance, same size; both are in gray; male has reddish-brown streaks whereas females have gray spotting with streaks in brown, black and white.

What would you call a baby elegant quail?

The elegant baby quails are called chicks. The immature quails are similar to female quails, but the throat part lacks whitish spots; the back has white stripes; white underparts. The outer flight feathers of chicks have buffy tips.

What do they eat?

Elegant quails (order Galliformes) are omnivores that rely on leaves, tubers, seeds, worms, roots, and some insects such as grasshoppers based on their habitat, and 95% of their diet consists of plant matter. Their primary food is grass seeds and berries. They also prefer seeds of legumes such as Caesalpinaceae and Fabaceae. Quail chicks depend on insects for the first few weeks of their life. In farms, the quail food is not to be stored for a long time as it may become poisonous to quail chicks. Millets and cracked corn are quails' favorite foods.

It is observed that the bird species scratch and fight vigorously with each other during foraging in the wild.

Are they poisonous?

The bottom dweller elegant quail, Callipepla douglasii, is not a poisonous bird.

Would they make a good pet?

Just like chickens, quails are the best option as pet birds. Petting birds is an old age tradition for thousands of years, and the quail is no exception. They need to be bred in pairs, but if breeders try to keep them in small colonies or groups, they may hurt each other if placed in a small area. These birds can be domesticated and have great demand for their meat and eggs.

Did you know...

Quails originated from North America and are observed in Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, and South America.

Most of the quails are ground-dwellers and reside in the same habitat for their entire lives, which means they are non-migratory birds.

The elegant and Gambel quails share the same geographic location in Sonora and northern Sinaloa but exhibit ecological differences that reduce the contact between the subspecies.

In China, quails are reared as pets as singing birds.

Do quails mate for life?

Yes, quails mate for life. So, what is mating for life? Forming a socially monogamous relationship or maintaining a single partner lifelong is called mating for life. This character helps in reproduction time among the species by sticking to a single partner. In the case of elegant quails, both partners share the duties equally.

What do quails have on their head and why?

The quails have a feather cluster on top of the head called a plume or topknot shaped like a teardrop. It adds beauty to quails' appearance. This plume bobs when the birds walk. The plume looks like a single feather, but it is a bunch of overlapping feathers. In the case of elegant quails, both males and females have this topknot. This crest helps in attracting the mate. In addition, the healthy crest or plume indicates the healthy genes that the quails possess. So a female quail prefers a male who has a full plume of feathers.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our leghorn chicken facts and goose facts pages.  

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Elegant quail coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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