Zovargo has a new ambassador and this bird is certainly not like any other bird we have. Quentin is a Gambel's Quail that was found roaming around the community of Clairemont which is located in San Diego, Ca.
Thankfully someone realized, this "wild" bird did not belong in the city! A good samaritan brought this bird in to a local wildlife rescue. After several months, it was determined there was no way this Gambel's Quail was going to make its way back into the wild as it was very imprinted to people. There was no other organization that truly wanted this quail. Thankfully, Zovargo was able to receive him - and we did - with open arms!
Quentin has already been making his way quietly to our programs for a few months now. He’s been in training getting familiar with the work of an animal ambassador. We are excited to now share him with all of our Zovargo friends!
About the Gambel’s Quail
The Gambel's Quail is the quintessential (no pun intended) representative of the Sonoran desert, as with the Saguaro cactus and Gila monster. These birds have a jaunty plumed top-knot (the group of feathers on their head) and very distinct calls. They thrive in semidesert grasslands, and interior chaparral regions in Arizona, NW Mexico, SE California, and even NE San Diego and Riverside Counties.
Some of their unique features are their vocalizations! These vocalizations, along with their behavior, help bird watchers to understand the daily lives of these busy birds
Gambel’s Quail Vocalizations
KAA-ka-ka call = “call to assembly.” This can be heard when one partner gets separated from their mate or covey. Mated pairs appear to be able to recognize their partner from another separated bird.
Wit-wut = Muffled version of this is done for mates when a male approaches a female. Defensive call typically done to defend territory. Watching body movement tells the tale if the quail is upset or happy. If making this sound accompanied with head bobbing and forward movement – it’s slightly defensive.
Chip-chip-chip = Moderate threat or danger. Presence of a predator.
Cre-AA-ah or Kaa = Announcing they are looking for a mate. Males typically give this “announcement” from an elevated perch—a shrub, a tree, or a fence post.
Even though this species was studied intensively between 1930 and 1970, much remains to be learned about Gambel's Quail, especially the effects of the following:
water development and livestock-grazing on survival and reproduction
late-season hunting on overwintering mortality
changes in nonnative annual vegetation on the bird's reproductive cycle
increases in range fires on population level
competition with other quail species on population dynamics
How can you help?
Little or no effort is made to actively manage Gambel's Quail population and the species is thought to be stable. You can help! Join the world of science and research. Choose this species for your research projects and get your findings published, blog about them - anything! Every little bit helps to increase our knowledge of these gregarious birds!