In our area, there are a LOT of wild quail. All of the locals refer to them as Gambel's quail. I bought eggs from two different providers sold as Gambel's quail eggs last spring and have a bunch of juveniles that I expect will begin laying this spring. Considering that people are selling adult and juvenile Gambel's quail at quite a bit per live bird I was considering raising a bunch and seeing if there is a local market. Then I looked at some pictures to confirm my sexing of the not-quite-mature birds I have, and was struck by the fact that: according to the internet, Gambel's quail don't live in this area and the local wild birds and my juveniles look a lot more like Valley quail than Gambel's quail. I then confirmed that according to the internet, Valley quail don't live in this area either. Interesting since on a typical hike I'll see three or four coveys of 20 or so birds each that look remarkably like some kind of quail. I don't want to try to sell quail under the wrong name; since I got the eggs from people who assured me they were Gambel's quail, and they look identical to the local quail, all called Gambel's quail by local people, should I just go with that? I'm not planning on shipping; strictly cash n carry. I'm assuming most people want them for training bird dogs because meat n egg raisers would presumably go through the effort to hatch and raise their own.
Gambel's quail or not?
Whether native or introduced, there are only California quail in northern Utah. As for the species you have, it doesn't matter where you got them because anyone anywhere can get birds. If you are unsure, just post a picture of your birds and we can help you identify. You should also be aware that Californias are able to breed with Gambels, and if so, they should not be sold under the name as the pure birds.
Edited by Ntsees - 2/1/16 at 5:21pm
I can understand local people getting the name for the local wildlife wrong. But how did two different game farms manage to get the species wrong? I'll work on a pic, but the juveniles have black scale lines on their breasts. They look exactly like the local wild juveniles I saw this morning. Maybe I should wait until they come into full adult color before deciding on their species.
For the correct naming, I'm not saying they got it wrong. Perhaps they are correct, but I'm just letting you know that there are instances where hybrids are incorrectly named as either of the species only so the seller can sell it off (sometimes the seller aren't even aware that they have hybrids). At this time of year, all juveniles should have their adult plumage. Pairing up should be starting up soon and egg laying should start late next month or two depending on where you live.
it's 6 degrees here with five+ feet of snow and more in the forecast. I sincerely hope they don't plan on laying eggs soon, and no, they don't have adult plummage, nor do the wild quail juvenile population (spent some time observing them this morning. Have no clue what they eat in the winter). Maybe I can just call them "quail" and sell them that way. They look exactly like the local wild quail population, which is what local quail hunters will want for training. I don't want to sell anything under even a remotely false name.
That much snow, wow. Looks like where you are at, those quail will start their breeding season very late in the season. The quail in your area eat what ever seed scraps, leaves, etc. they can find. Winter is a tough time and if they can't find anything to eat with the snow covering up everything, most of them won't make it. If they're around, maybe someone in the neighborhood is feeding them or they are there because people clear the snow away exposing the soil where they can dig in search for something to eat.
Gambels quail can be found in northern Utah as well as Valley Quail. The biggest indicators between the two will be that the gambels has a brownish red cap behind its topknot. Gambels also have a clear buff breast while valleys have grayish scales on the breast. I have had both and the hybrid between the two. If you post a pic of your birds and the local wild ones Ill help you out.pictured below is a male and female of the hybrid.