Status: No accepted records.
Taxonomy: Five subspecies are recognized (Gill et al 2022); it is not known which subspecies was/were released in Nebraska.
Comments: The only release of these birds was of about 70 in Butler, Madison, Knox, and Douglas Cos in 1939; a covey was reported in Madison Co in 1939 (Halbert 1940) and a purportedly wild-reared road-killed specimen (UNSM ZM6094) was collected near Enola, Madison Co 25 May 1940. The populations apparently died out soon after (Mathisen and Mathisen 1960). There are occasional reports of apparent escaped or released birds; one was in a Bellevue, Sarpy Co yard 22 Mar 2019.
Photograph (top) by Ross Silcock of a California Quail specimen (UNSM ZM6094) collected near Enola, Madison Co 25 May 1940. The specimen is housed and maintained at the University of Nebraska State Museum and was legally salvaged or collected. We thank Thomas Labedz for facilitating the photographing of this specimen for the Birds of Nebraska – Online.
UNSM: University of Nebraska Sate Museum
Gill, F., D. Donsker, and P. Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
Halbert, D. 1940. Notes on Nebraska-reared Chukar Partridges and Valley California Quail. NBR 8: 87-88.
Mathisen, J., and A. Mathisen. 1960. History and status of introduced game birds in Nebraska. NBR 28: 19-22.
Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen. 2023. California Quail (Callipepla californica). In Birds of Nebraska — Online. www.BirdsofNebraska.org
Birds of Nebraska – Online
Updated 17 Apr 2023