Also Goes By: Scalie, Blue Racer, Cottontop
The Scaled Quail, also known as the Blue Quail, have a blue-grey tint to their black tipped feathers, giving them the appearance of having scales. With a small pointed crest atop their head that that is creamy in color this quail will weigh between 7 to 8 ounces and be up to one foot in length.
These birds enjoy the arid climes of the US Southwest and Mexico. Moreover, sticking close to an open water source is not a necessity resulting in these quail being found 10 to 15 miles from the nearest water supply. They prefer the sparse ground cover of stout forbs and grasses and are usually drawn to dry open valley and rocky slopes. Their home ranges may span between 52 and 60 acres and are typically bereft of streams and dense growth.
A Scaled Quail covey is normally between 30 to 40 birds with the count doubling at times during the winter season. Rather than flush upwards into the air, these birds prefer to run and scatter, regrouping to sit tight while the predator passes.
Having a gun dog that works closely in the field is ideal and it is advisable to focus on one or two birds during a flush to not confuse the shot.
Photo Courtesy of Gary Kramer, USDA
Where to Hunt Scaled Quail
I kicked off this season hunting the entire month of September without ever pulling the trigger—for birds, not for big game, not for a once-in-a-lifetime tag draw. I never even came close. True, the Himalayan Snowcock might be the most challenging hunt in the country. This was my second attempt at those demons and I … Read more
Opening day in Kansas occupies a sacred place for me since this is the territory where my upland obsession really took hold years ago. The bulk of the state has a dismal bird forecast like much of the rest of the Midwest this year. There are some bright spots which have been deemed the north … Read more
I make the annual pilgrimage to Kansas to reunite with old friends and family. It reminds me of where my passion for bird hunting was first kindled. Because this year was no exception to the rule, Kansas seemed like the right place to bring together our young Jornada Llewellin Rio with our veteran flusher Wyatt … Read more