top of page




🌵🦃 **Scaled Quail at Big Jeep Tours** 🦃🌵

Get ready to spot one of Arizona's most attractive and unique birds while aboard our adventurous Jeep tours. The Scaled Quail, known by locals as the "Blue Quail" or "Cotton Top" or "Scaley," due to its cotton-like tuft on its head, is a special sight not to be missed.

📍 _Where to Find Them_

These attractive birds are frequently seen in the stunning valleys surrounding Bisbee. They prefer open, semi-arid regions, often where mesquite, cacti, and yucca plants are abundant. 

🔍 _What to Look For_

* Plump, medium-sized quails with a distinct tuft of white, cotton-like feathers on their head, giving them a distinctive 'scaled' look.

* Mottled bluish-gray coloration with unique scaled feather patterns that provide perfect camouflage among the desert vegetation.

* Quick and shy, these birds prefer to run than fly, providing an engaging sight as they dash across the desert terrain.

🐣 _Life Cycle and Habits_

* Scaled Quail lay 9-16 eggs in a grass-lined nest, usually hidden under a shrub or cactus.

* They're social birds, often seen in groups known as "coveys" outside of breeding season.

* In the heat of the day, they prefer to rest in the shade, making early mornings and late afternoons ideal for sightings.

📸 _Photography Tips_

* Patience is key! These birds are quick and elusive. 

* Using a zoom lens will allow for great close-ups without disturbing them.

* Be mindful of the lighting, as their bluish-gray coloration can look different depending on the time of day.

✔️ _Conservation Status_

The Scaled Quail is not currently threatened, but habitat loss and hunting can pose challenges to its population. Big Jeep Tours promotes responsible birdwatching practices to help ensure their continued survival.

🦃 **Key Highlights** 🦃

* Unique opportunity to observe the beautiful Scaled Quail in its natural desert habitat.

* Great for birdwatching enthusiasts and nature photographers.

* Adds an exciting wildlife spotting experience to your adventurous Jeep tour.

* A chance to learn about desert wildlife and ecosystem.

👉 Remember to bring your binoculars, cameras, and a keen eye for spotting these fascinating creatures. Come, join us for an unforgettable Jeep tour and let's 'quail' it a day in Bisbee!

🏜️ **#BigJeepTours** 🦃 **#ScaledQuailSighting** 📸 **#BisbeeBirding** 🌵 **#ArizonaWildlife**


The Scaled Quail, also known as Callipepla squamata, is a unique and striking bird species predominantly found in the arid regions of the American Southwest. Bisbee, Arizona, situated in the picturesque Mule Mountains, serves as one of the ideal habitats for these quails. This area's blend of desert and scrubland offers the perfect ecosystem for the Scaled Quail to thrive.

Physical Description

The Scaled Quail is known for its distinctive appearance. Adults typically weigh between 150 to 200 grams and measure around 25 cm in length. The most striking feature of this species is its scaled appearance, which is a result of the pattern on their feathers. They exhibit a grayish-brown color with a pattern of darker brown, giving them a 'scaled' look. The belly is lighter, often a whitish or buff color. Males and females are similar in appearance, but males can be identified by their prominent white crest.


In Bisbee and the surrounding Mule Mountains, the Scaled Quail prefers open areas with sparse vegetation. They are commonly found in grasslands, deserts, and scrublands. They avoid dense forests and heavily wooded areas. The quails are well-adapted to the dry conditions of the region and are often found near water sources.

Behavior and Diet

Scaled Quails are ground-dwellers and are more likely to run than fly when threatened. They are social birds, often seen in groups, especially outside the breeding season. Their diet primarily consists of seeds, leaves, and occasionally insects. They forage on the ground, often scratching at the soil to uncover food.

Breeding and Nesting

Breeding season for the Scaled Quail in Bisbee typically occurs in the spring and early summer. The nests are simple depressions in the ground, lined with grass and located under a shrub or other vegetation for cover. Females lay between 9 to 16 eggs, which are incubated for around three weeks. After hatching, the chicks are precocial and can leave the nest within a few hours, guided and protected by their parents.

Conservation Status

The Scaled Quail, like many wildlife species in arid regions, faces challenges due to habitat loss and changes in land use. However, in Bisbee and the larger region of the Mule Mountains, conservation efforts have been put in place to protect their habitat and ensure the species' sustainability. As of now, the Scaled Quail is not listed as endangered, but monitoring and conservation efforts continue to be important for its long-term survival.

bottom of page