12 Types of Quail in Oklahoma

Types of Quail in Oklahoma
Image credit: The Oklahoman

Many quail live in Oklahoma, and people know about the bobwhite, gambel, and scaled quail. However, that’s just scratching the surface of what Oklahoma has to offer regarding quail species.

To give you an idea of the variety we’re talking about here, there are many types of quail in Oklahoma!

Keep reading this article to learn more about these birds and why they belong on your radar. Knowing how many quail types there are in Oklahoma might surprise you. 

Several varieties of this common bird have different habits you should know about before trying to attract them to your garden or property.

Learn more about the different types of quail found in Oklahoma below!

1. The Gambel’s Quail

Gambel’s quail are the most common type of quail in Oklahoma. They live year-round and can be found throughout the state.

Gambel’s quails are brown with white spots on their wings that can appear when they fly or during courtship rituals.

These types of quail in Oklahoma eat mostly seeds, which they find by digging through loose soil or grasses. 

Females lay a single egg per day until they have a clutch size and then incubate them for about a month before hatching them.

Males will provide food for the females and chicks for about two months after hatching, but females do all the work and spend most of their time caring for the eggs and chicks. 

At one point, Gambel’s quails were hunted ext9ensively to help control agricultural pests, but now they are more protected because they don’t threaten farmers.

As a result, their population is steady as long as humans care not to destroy their habitats.

2. The White-Tailed Prairie Quail

The white-tailed prairie quail is one of the minor quails found in Oklahoma, weighing only 2 ounces.

These birds have light pink patches under their eyes and dark stripes on their lower backs.

They typically grow 8 inches long, with males weighing about twice as much as females. 

These different types of quail in Oklahoma mate for life but may seek out additional mates if one partner dies or disappears.

Females usually lay two clutches annually and can produce up to 15 eggs in a single clutch. 

Males incubate the eggs for 18 days before they hatch, then help feed the chicks when they are young.

However, if there are too many nests in an area, sometimes it leads to cannibalism among adults.

3. Northern Bobwhite’s quail

Southern bobwhite quails are native to North America and have brown bodies with black stripes.

They can be found throughout the United States but prefer open grasslands and farmlands. Northern bobwhite quails are primarily found in the plains and southern states. 

These different types of quail in Oklahoma are similar to their southern cousins, but they have a more grey coloration on their head and face, with white spots on their neck and down the center of their back.

The Northern bobwhite is also more significant than the Southern bobwhite. The Northern bobwhite is a separate species but similar to its southern counterparts.

Both are white with black stripes, although Northern bobwhites have more grey on their faces and necks.

4. The Scaled Quail

This is the most common type of quail in Oklahoma. It has a bright orange-red head and a brown-spotted body.

It’s the giant quail, weighing around ten ounces. This quail can be found year-round but prefers to stay near water sources. 

They are not migratory birds, so they can live their whole life within the state. Instead, they make nests on the ground or just above it. These nests are often made of leaves or grasses lined with feathers or fur. 

These different types of quail in Oklahoma prefer to eat insects like crickets, beetles, moths, dragonflies, and grasshoppers.

The Scaled Quail have been known as pests because they feed on crops such as corn or wheat while still in the field.

5. The Montezuma Quail

Montezuma quail inhabit dry regions like those found in southwestern Oklahoma.

They’re often seen around sandhill country where vegetation is sparse because they need to dig for their food, consisting of various plant materials and grains. 

Montezuma quail inhabit dry regions like those found in southwestern Oklahoma.

They’re often seen around sandhill country where vegetation is sparse because they need to dig for their food, consisting of various plant materials and grains.

6. Coturnix

The Coturnix quail is a type of quail that lives worldwide but most commonly resides in Europe and Asia. This species is more common than a domesticated bird.

Coturnix quails are often kept as poultry for their meat and eggs, which are most popular in Japan and China. 

The males grow to be around 8 inches long on average, while females only grow to be 6 inches long on average.

These birds are typically brown with white spots on their face, chest, and breast feathers. Their tail feathers are also brown with some white spots on them too.

They’re so cute! We have many pictures of these guys strutting their stuff on our feed.

These different types of quail in Oklahoma are usually between 5-8 inches tall but can get as big as 12-14 inches tall when they stretch their necks out! 

We love seeing these little guys visit our yard yearly because they’re social and playful. But it seems like they’ve taken up residence here because we see them every year now!

7. California Quail

The California Quail is a small bird typically found in the western United States. They are brownish-gray with light streaking on their head and neck, a white belly, and dark barring on their tail.

These birds are most active during the day but do not venture far from the cover. The California Quails’ diet consists mainly of grasses, berries, insects, and seeds.

These types of quail in Oklahoma generally live for around two years due to natural predators such as foxes, coyotes, raccoons, hawks, or owls who prey on them while they sleep or feed during the day. 

The females will lay one clutch per season, usually containing six eggs, which she will incubate for about 23 days before they hatch.

When hatching, the chicks can be either male or female, and all look alike when they first come out of their shell.

As time goes by, however, it becomes apparent that some have black feathers while others are more buff-colored like their father.

8. Mountain Quail

The Mountain Quail is a small, relatively large-footed quail that lives on high mountain slopes.

They are so named because they live at higher altitudes than other types of quail in Oklahoma.

The Mountain Quail is a migratory bird that returns to the mountains each spring and summer before returning to the lowlands during winter. 

Often, the female will lay her eggs among rocks or in burrows to protect them from predators. She lays six to eight eggs per clutch, which hatch about 21 days after being laid.

Her nestlings have an average weight of about 1 ounce when they hatch, and she’ll continue feeding them until they’re close to adult size (about 7 ounces). 

She’ll also feed herself during this time but leaves scraps for her male counterpart.

Unlike most birds who regurgitate their food to feed their young, the Mountain Quail swallows its food whole and chews it internally before repeating it as moist pellets.

9. Desert Quail

The desert quail, a subspecies of the northern bobwhite, is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. The birds are found primarily in desert scrub and desert grassland habitats.

These types of quail in Oklahoma have a small population, about 800 breeding pairs, throughout their range. 

They can be distinguished from other bobwhite subspecies by their shorter tail feathers and shorter bill size. In addition, the female is typically more significant than the male.

As a result, this bird has been recognized as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

Their diet mainly consists of seeds, leaves, and insects, but they will also eat fruit when they find it; they will sometimes scavenge for food on dead animals or carrion. They will drink water if available but are not dependent on it. 

These types of quail in Oklahoma nest in brush, thickets, and trees. The females lay two eggs simultaneously, hatching after 13 days of incubation. Both parents feed the young, who leave the nest after six weeks.

10. Valley Quail

The valley quail is a common species found all over the United States. They are smaller than some other types of quail in Oklahoma, with males growing to an average size of 9 inches and females averaging 8 inches.

The males have a chestnut brown back, a white belly, and a black head. Females are mostly brown with some white on their breasts.

The most distinguishing feature is their long tail feathers which extend past their body and give them the nickname screech-owl. These types of quail in Oklahoma live in small family groups of up to ten individuals. 

The valley quail are found throughout North America, usually in brushy areas like crop fields, abandoned pastures, and along fence lines.

It was once considered a pest by farmers because they ate crops, but due to their long lifespan (up to 10 years) and resilience, they are now famous game birds.

In addition, they tend to fly when they feel threatened instead of running away, making them easier targets for predators.

11. Button Quail

Quail is a small bird, but they come in several different varieties. The Button Quail is one that you may not be familiar with. They’re named for their distinctive markings, which resemble buttons.

The male is more brightly colored than the female and has a purple head and breasts. Some populations of these types of quail in Oklahoma also have green-colored wings and tails. 

If you want to catch sight of these beauties up close, the Quail Run Golf Course is an excellent place to visit; it’s home to over 100 acres and more than 25 species of birds, including some Button Quails.

12. King Quail

King Quail is a small bird. They are known for their beautiful brown color, with white spots on the side of their wings.

Males have more pronounced markings than females, but both have similar coloration. 

These types of quail in Oklahoma have long tails and strong legs, allowing them to move quickly through the brush.

They feed on insects, invertebrates, and seeds that they find by digging around the ground with their bill or probing it into cracks in tree bark or crevices among rocks.

They are most active during dawn and dusk, making it challenging to spot them. 

Let your friend or family know if you see one of these beautiful birds! Then, you may be able to work together to find more.

King quails are native to North America and can be found throughout Oklahoma in various habitats. 

These types of quail in Oklahoma prefer grasslands, deciduous forests, brushy areas, and wetland ecosystems.

King quails are social birds that form small flocks with other species members during the breeding season (March through May), but otherwise, they tend to live alone or in small groups.


If you’re ever out and about, keep your eyes open for quail. These types of quail in Oklahoma are all over the place, and most people don’t know they’re there because they don’t make much noise.

One type is the Gambel’s or blue quail, which has a blue-gray back and chestnut wings. And another one is the Montezuma or scaled quail with black feathers on its chest and belly covered in scales. 

Oklahoma has different types of quails that you may not have known existed! The Gambel’s quail is one of the most common and can be found throughout the year. 

The Montezuma quail is only seen during the spring and summer for those looking for a rarer bird.

All types are beautiful creatures, but some have unique features that make them stand out among other birds.

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