Small and rotund with intricate brown, black, and white patterning. Some striking variation in plumage across range. Most males, including those in the eastern U.S., have bold black and white head pattern and heavy white spotting on belly. In Mexico, males can be entirely cinnamon-colored below and have a fully black head; some might have a white eyebrow or a dark chest band. Females are more consistent throughout range: look for buffy throat and eyebrow. Pairs or small groups are found in scrubby fields and brushy woods. Usually on the ground, but occasionally perches in trees when singing. The only quail native to the eastern U.S., where populations are declining sharply. Listen for distinctive “bob-WHITE!” whistle.