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Bird: California quail
The California quail (Lophortyx californica), also known as the
valley quail, became the official state bird in 1931. A widely distributed
and prized game bird, it is known for its hardiness and adaptability.
Plump, gray-colored and smaller than a pigeon, the California quail
sports a downward curving black plume on top of its head and black
bib with white stripe under the beak. Flocks number from a few to
60 or more in the fall and winter months, but in the spring break
into pairs. They nest in hollows scratched in the ground and concealed
by foliage, and their eggs, 6 to 28 in number, are creamy white and
thickly spotted with golden brown.