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Galliformes > Odontophoridae

Montezuma Quail

Cyrtonyx montezumae

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Identification

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A remarkably patterned quail, uncommon and difficult to spot as it runs through open grassy woodlands in dry regions of the southwest U.S. and Mexico. Male looks like he’s are wearing a black-and-white helmet; otherwise look for bold spots and streaks covering body and wings. Female is more subtly patterned with shades of brown; look for rounded, puffy head shape. Between bursts of running, often crouches motionless and becomes nearly invisible. Rarely flies unless flushed at very close range; most often seen crossing a road or trail. Male song is a rich descending whistle with unique ethereal tone like an incoming spaceship.

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Montezuma Quail

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