White Mountains Online

Gambel's Quail . . . (Lophortyx gambelii)


These animals are one of the primary small game species hunted in Arizona. Hunting small game requires only a valid Arizona regular hunting or combination hunting/fishing license. A U.S. Forest Service Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests map is a handy tool.

Gambel's Quail: Familiar to most Arizonans, the Gambel's quail is the state's most popular small gamebird species. Mostly associated with mesquite, Gambel's quail inhabit Arizona from the northwest to the southeast corners below 6,000 feet in elevation. Other plants associated with this top-knotted bird are saguaro, prickly pear, jojoba, scrub oak, catclaw acacia, and brittlebush.

Habitat: Grassland and desert shrub.

Food Preferences: Tree and shrub buds, green weeds, insects, mesquite beans, mustards, miscel seeds, and cacti fruit in season.

Breeding notes: Breed April through June with an average clutch of 9-15 chicks. Young appear May - July.

Predators or Enemies: Hawks, foxes, ants, skunks, house cats, rodents, and snakes.

Size Individual Range: 60-160 acres

Distribution: 90 - 5,500 feet in southern and western Arizona.

Live Weight: 5-7 oz.

Hunting hints: Usually find quail concentrations within one mile of permanent water. Be prepared for extensive walking to get your limit. Listen for their distinctive call to determine their presence.

Information courtesy Arizona Game & Fish Department, Region 1-Pinetop,AZ