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A photo of a Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), male
Northern Bobwhite, Male

Northern Bobwhite

Colinus virginianus

The northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), also known as the Virginia quail or (in its home range) bobwhite quail, is a ground-dwelling bird native to Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Cuba, with introduced populations elsewhere in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. It is a member of the group of species known as New World quails (Odontophoridae). They were initially placed with the Old World quails in the pheasant family (Phasianidae), but are not particularly closely related. The name "bobwhite" is an onomatopoeic derivation from its characteristic whistling call. Despite its secretive nature, the northern bobwhite is one of the most familiar quails in eastern North America, because it is frequently the only quail in its range. Habitat degradation has likely contributed to the northern bobwhite population in eastern North America declining by roughly 85% from 1966 to 2014. This population decline is apparently range-wide and continuing. There are 23 subspecies of northern bobwhite, many of which are hunted extensively as game birds. One subspecies, the masked bobwhite (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi), is listed as endangered with wild populations located in the northern Mexican state of Sonora and a reintroduced population in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona.
Northern Bobwhite Sounds
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A photo of a California Quail (Callipepla californica) , male
California Quail
Callipepla californica

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