New for 2020!
Gamble's Quail are
gregarious birds of the desert Southwest, where coveys gather along brushy
washes and cactus-studded arroyos to feed. Males and females both sport a
bobbing black topknot of feathers. The male’s prominent black belly patch
distinguishes it from the similar California Quail. This ground-hugging desert
dweller would rather run than fly—look for these tubby birds running between
cover or posting a lookout on low shrubs. Gamble's Quail are ground-feeding
desert birds—so they are likely to visit yards that offer birdseed and water at
ground level. They sometimes also come up to elevated platform feeders. You can
attract them with sunflower seeds, cracked corn, millet, and milo. Gamble's
Quail are part of the “scaled quail” complex, which also includes California
Quail, Scaled Quail, and the Elegant Quail of northwest Mexico. The species
hybridize in captivity and in the wild; you can find Gamble's x California
Quail hybrids where their ranges overlap in southeast California. Like
many desert-dwelling species, Gamble's Quail populations undergo a
“boom-and-bust” cycle. A year with ample winter-spring rainfall that generates
lots of green vegetation will yield larger clutches and an abundance of chicks.
Dry winters mean less food and lower productivity. Just before her eggs hatch,
the female Gamble's Quail calls to the chicks, who cheep to each other from
inside the eggs. The eggs hatch in synchrony, with the chick cutting a neat
hole in the largest part of the shell and leaving an intact piece of membrane
to serve as a “hinge” — the chick pushes on the shell and opens the “door” that
it has created. This instinct is duplicated in the incubator where it
seems all the chicks simultaneously hatch at the same time in 23-24 days with
very few, if any “late hatchers” Eggs are uniform in size and shape, a light
cream color with light brown specks to help them blend into the nest. They are
a favorite food of the Gila Monster, the only venomous lizard in North America.
Chicks are lively and quick! And their flight feathers develop quite rapidly so
a covered brooder is a must. Our Phil’s Best Starter Brooder is a great way to
give these little guys a good head start while keeping them safe and secure.
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Now booking orders for the 2020 season!
Egg orders are filled in the order in which they are received,
shipping Sundays thru Thursdays.
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