Males are more brightly colored than females, and have particularly interesting face markings of black and white, sometimes described as "harlequin" or "swirling." They have a crest with a single plume, large heads, and big eyes. Their sides are brown with bright white spots, and their backs are brown with white darts. The chest and underparts are a beautiful mahogany color. Females are a light brown with darker brown, buff, and black markings.
The Gambel Quail Callipepla gambelii is one of the symbols of the old west - they go hand in hand with tumbleweeds! Gambel Quail have the characteristic black comma-like plume on their heads and blue and chestnut colorations. The call of the Gambel Quail is a common sound effect in Western Movies.
The mature Blue Scale Quail is about 10 to 12 inches long. They have a grey-brown head with a white "cotton top" crest, black bill, and beautiful blue feathers with black lacing, resembling scales, from the neck down to the breast and back. The wings and lower back to their tail feathers are a grey-brown color.