The valley quail is a native species originally confined to the counties bordering California and Nevada. They were transplanted to other areas of the state so long ago (beginning as early as 1870) that most Oregonians do not realize they were introduced in most of Oregon.
Features: Valley quail are often detected by their distinctive call which seems to say "Chicago". They are a covey-loving bird and wintering groups may number over 100. They are gray to brown with intricate scaling in the feathers on the belly. Their top knot droops forward toward the beak.
Habitat: Valley quail are among Oregon's most widely distributed game birds. They may be found associated with agricultural and urban areas, as well as in riparian habitats located miles from human habitation. Within these areas, however, valley quail habitat needs are rather specific. Valley quail feed on a wide variety of plant species, most of which we know as weeds. They need a combination of brushy escape cover with adequate roosting areas (off the ground) and more open areas for feeding. They are seldom found far from water.
Technique: Quail and brushy environments go together like ham and eggs, so a good dog is an especially useful companion for hunting valley quail. They are most often hunted in conjunction with other species but can provide excellent hunting when pursued as a primary species.