Small and rotund with obvious teardrop-shaped plumes protruding from forehead. Looks gray and brown at a distance; look for buffy belly with a black patch. Males have black face and longer, more curled crest than females. Usually seen in flocks running on the ground in deserts, often close to dense thickets for cover. Well-accustomed to humans in many areas; a frequent visitor to feeders. Listen for loud wailing calls and various clucks and chuckles. Separated from similar California Quail by range; also note Gambel’s lacks scaly pattern on belly and has brighter chestnut-colored crown and sides.