California State Bird: Description, Pictures, & Fun Facts

California State Bird - California Quail

Table of Contents

What is California State Bird?

California is a western state in the United States that has the most people and is the third-largest in terms of land area. It features a diversified range of environments that attract a wide diversity of animals. The California Grizzly Bear is the official animal of California, but what is the official California state bird?

In 1931, the state of California designated the California Quail (Callipepla californicus or Lophortyx californica) as its official bird. This large game bird, sometimes known as the California Valley Quail, has grey feathers striped with white on its stomach.

This sturdy bird grows to be somewhat smaller than a pigeon, but the curving black plume on top of its head distinguishes it from a pigeon. This bird forages for food, mostly seeds, although it also consumes insects during the mating season.

California State Bird - California Quail

Why is California Quail California State Bird?

The wild California quail was chosen as the official bird of the Golden State, California. This bird landed in the state’s open regions, particularly near the shore. Its resourcefulness piqued the interest of the Audubon Society, which recommended the valley quail as the official state bird.

The California Legislature agreed, enacting AB 776 and designating the California valley quail as the state’s “official bird and avifaunal symbol.”

When did California Quail become California State Bird?

On June 12, 1931, the state of California approved AB 776 to designate its official bird. The California quail is not shared as a state bird by any other state.

California State Bird - California Quail
What does California State Bird look like?

This member of the massive quail family, which includes 43 different species, has a distinguished appearance with grey, brown, tan, and white feathers. The birds have a comma-shaped plume that protrudes from the top of their heads.

Males of this species have slate grey chests and white stripes on their cheeks. The California quail is around 10 inches long from head to tail. It has a 14-inch wingspan. These small birds are barely 5 to 7 ounces in weight.

California State Bird - California Quail
How do California State Bird behave?

Consider the quail to be a sociable bird. It wanders in small groups or flocks of a few dozen. The birds establish partnerships as the mating season, which starts in May, approaches. They develop a breeding area that they protect against other quails as a couple.

Quail in California mate for life. The quail couple constructs a nest on the ground and starts mating. In May, the females deposit 14 eggs on average. For around three weeks, the female incubates them.

The male defends and feeds the female as well as the nest with its eggs. He delivers supper for both of them. When the chicks are hatched, they follow their mother to a food source and eat while she shields them from predators.

They make their nests on the ground by scratching an imprint in the earth. This nest is hidden by the bird under vegetation, usually grasses or scrubby plants. Quail sit atop rooftops, fences, and rocks to keep an eye on things. They don’t construct houses at these altitudes.

California State Bird - California Quail
Do California Quail form communities?

California quails fly in groups, but then split off to establish nuclear families. Other quails and birds are not permitted to enter their “yard” – their breeding territory.

They re-group to establish nurseries after the birth of their young. This helps the newborns survive because they have all the adults in the community looking out for predators.

Quail may defend their territory from other quail, but they may also share it with other bird species. It’s not uncommon to see a California quail incubating her eggs, as well as the eggs of other birds.

These California quails deposit their eggs in an established nest, which may hold up to 28 eggs, although only approximately half of them are genetically determined.

California State Bird - California Quail
What do California Quail eat?

The majority of the California quail’s diet consists of seeds. Lupine, geranium, pea, and clover are favourites. Berries, fruits, and cereals are also appealing to them. These quail eat foliage and flowers as well.

When breeding, they need protein and feed on invertebrates and tiny insects like as beetles, caterpillars, crickets, and snails. Baby California quails lack many of the digestive system organisms required for life when they are born.

They get them from their parents by eating the excrement of adult birds. They exclusively ingest excrement till the organisms mature.

Life of California Quail

While a California quail may be kept as a pet, capturing a wild California quail is not advised. Choose a California quail from a breeder instead. Because they have just been partly tamed, information on keeping one as a pet will be scarce.

You should not catch a wild quail in order to keep it as a pet. These birds, like other wild birds, are carriers of pests and illnesses. Before adopting from a breeder, inspect the facility for clean cages, fresh food and water, and healthy birds.

This game bird has no detrimental influence on humans. Humans, on the other hand, hunt this bird. They may also be bred. The quail is not in danger. In reality, it is on the state’s “The Least Concern” list, which means it is not endangered and lives in safety.

You may attract these birds to your yard by placing a bird feeder full of birdseed. Feeding them and luring them to your yard is a better option than attempting to turn one into a pet. This allows the birds to come and go as they wish, while also providing a handy food supply.

In addition, you should supply clean, fresh water. This helps the birds survive the state’s regular droughts.

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