California State Bird

California State Bird

California is the 31st state into statehood. It was given this status on September 8 of 1850. It is also referred to as the Golden State and has Sacramento as its capital city. The most populated state in the US, which bird species do you think has the honor of becoming its state bird?

What is the state bird of California?

California Quail was appointed for the position of state bird of California in 1931. These beloved species of game birds are known for how steady and adaptable they are. Gray in color with a plump body, there’s a plume that curves downward on the top of the bird’s head. Right under its beak is a black-colored bib with white stripes.

During fall and winter, these birds roam California in flocks. When spring comes, though, they divide into separate pairings. They dig into the ground and make their nest and use the surrounding greenery to hide.

  • California Quail


What makes the state bird of California unusual?

Almost like a round soccer ball, an unusual thing about the California Quail is the black plume on top of their heads that slightly bent forward. Its call is also quite curious, with sudden spurts of sounds coming from them, similar to a horn. On the ground, they can be seen roaming in large groups and digging holes. They are also seen running at high speed, making their legs appear blurry.

California Quail Migration

California state bird facts

The California state bird has some interesting oddities you might be interested in!

1. The California Quail needs protozoans to digest the vegetation. This substance in their intestine helps them digest their food quickly. Guess where these protozoans come from? California Quails dig and peck at human feces to acquire them. This is why you would often find them in bushy areas, digging through the ground for any potential human waste left behind.

2. It is not odd to find 28 eggs in the nest of one California Quail. No, these eggs are not all laid by one female or the owner of the nest. Instead, the females of the species have a habit of laying their eggs on the nests of other California Quails. This is referred to as egg dumping.

3. Pairs of California Quail have been known to call in a way that is termed antiphonal. In this case, the male and female take turns to make their calls. So, what a passerby gets to listen to is a symphony of sounds planned properly. It is basically an orchestra brought to you, specially by the California Quail pairs.

Final Thoughts

The California official state bird is quite a common species. It is not that hard to find the extremely fluffy, gray California Quails. However, they are quite skittish in nature. So, when you are trying to look for one in California, be gentle in your approach so as not to scare them away.


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