top of page

The Blue Scale Quail is a beautiful and unique species of quail. They are often called "Cotton Tops" because of the plumage on the top of their head. Scale Quail are popular as game birds.

The mature Blue Scale Quail is about 10 to 12 inches long. They have a grey-brown head with a white "cotton top" crest, black bill, and beautiful blue feathers with black lacing, resembling scales, from the neck down to the breast and back. The wings and lower back to their tail feathers are a grey-brown color. It is very difficult to distinguish the male from the female. Upon close inspection, the best determination is their throat color--the male's throat is ash-gray while the females throat is a light yellow.


Scale quail prefer to run rather than fly and in fact can run faster than 15 miles per hour! Through the winter, these quail live in coveys or groups of about 30 birds, though much higher numbers are not out of the question. They roost in circles facing outwards to keep a watchful eye out for predators. The Blue