Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2017-45

Common name:

Scaled Quail

Scientific name: Callipepla squamata
Date: 7/19/17
Time: 8:20 am
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: unknown
Location: Boulder, UT
County: Garfield
Elevation: 6700
Distance to bird: 25 ft
Optical equipment: 10x binoculars
Weather: warm & sunny
Light Conditions: ideal, a few clouds
Description:        Size of bird: ~10" tall, ~6" wide
(Description:)       Basic Shape: short plump game bird
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: gray-brown, white highlights
(Description:)            Bill Type: short, stubby, curved at tip
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Drab gray-brown overall, with noticeable scaled appearance of breast & belly feathers. Thin white feathers down flanks. White tuft on head compared to dark plume of other Utah quail.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: Not heard
Behavior: Standing vigilant atop a vehicle
Habitat: Private driveway, surrounded by grassy livestock pastures and a slickrock hillside featuring pinyon/juniper.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Other Utah quail have more striking plumage with dark feathers, including the dark head plume. This bird had a white tuft on its head, and the only distinct plumage feature was the scaled breast.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
None with this species, it was a life bird. In Garfield Co. I have only seen Chukar, and I have seen Gambel's Quail several times throughout the southwest.
References consulted: Sibley Guide to Birds
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Ryan McDermott
Observer's address:  P.O. Box 1364, Boulder UT, 84716
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Heather McDevitt
Date prepared: 7/22/17
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: I found this bird in the same location the following two days, 7/20 & 7/21. The landowner had previously seen at least two adults, and even photographed one of them standing beside a young chick.

The bird is located on private property down a private road, and the landowner does not want visitors.