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Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge -California Quail Nature Study

California quail are usually seen scurrying along the forest floor in and around brush and shrubs. They quick step along in a group and you can often hear them before you see them. They make such a peculiar sound: Quail pit-pit-pit sound video.

I invite you to learn more about one of my favorite birds!

Outdoor Hour Challenge California Quail nature study

  • Choose a resource to use for the California quail.  A terrific website for bird information is All About Birds: California Quail. Check your field guide for birds for range maps and images.

Please note that I will not be posting the complete challenge here on the blog but you’ll find the detailed challenge in the Forest Fun ebook that is available both in the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships. Sign into your account and download the ebook for the details, more links, a coloring page, and notebook pages.

Forest Fun ebook cover graphic

We’re working through the Forest Fun ebook, which is a brand new series of nature studies featuring things you might find in the forest. It’s not too late to join us by purchasing an Ultimate Naturalist or Journey level membership.

Topics in this ebook include:


Skunk Cabbage


Common Raven

California Quail

Western Tanager

Black Bear



Join Us Ultimate Naturalist decenber 2019

If you don’t have a membership yet, you can click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 24 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!


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Quail’s Nest

quail eggs (2)

I forgot that I took these photos a few weeks ago of some quail’s egg shells in a nest. The nest was right on a bank outside a friend’s house in the dry grass on the ground. Amazing that no one saw it until now.

quail egg shells (2)
There were so many little egg shells and they are so pretty and speckled. We were not sure whether it looked like the eggs had hatched or not….they do have three foxes that frequent their property. Would foxes eat the whole egg or just break it open and eat what is inside?

We came home and looked up to make sure they belonged to a quail:
California Quail
We learned that a nest can have as many as 28 eggs! The nest is usually in a shallow depression on the ground and lined with grasses and other vegetation, usually 5-7 inches across.

quail eggs (1)
We have quail in our yard sometimes but I have never seen a nest before.

There is always something new to see if you keep your eyes wide open.

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California Quail Story with Video

Last night I was sitting at the table when I heard an unusual bird call just outside my window. It was something so distinct that I was alert right away. I called my husband over and we cracked the window and listened…he heard it too.

We were peeking out the window but couldn’t see anything out there. It called again. This time I recognized the call from the other day. Chi-CA-Go, Chi-CA-Go. It is sounds so clear once you recognize it.

California Quail.

This morning I heard it again and was determined to go outside and find the bird to confirm my identification. I quietly stepped out onto the deck. Quiet. Then I decided to head down the stairs to look around the yard. Quiet. Next thing I know, a bird flies right over my head and lands on the deck railing. It was a quail! Big, beautiful, gorgeous California quail. He sat there for maybe 30 seconds and then he flew up into our tree. I decided to go inside and get my video camera to try to capture him on film.

Of course he wouldn’t come out of hiding again for me but he did sing me his song. Here is a very short edited video of his call. Listen for the Chi-ca-go call and that is him among the chorus of other morning birds in my yard. You might need to turn your speakers up. 

California Quail Video

So that is my very exciting new bird to our yard story. We have lived here for over 21 years and this is the first time I have seen a quail in our yard. Wahoo!