About the Callipepla
This is a map of the distribution of the four species of quail that comprise the Callipepla genus.
I include this map because it is informative–notice all four species are resident in Mexico but only three resident in the United States. However, I also include this map because I find it soothing. Here are the quail–all four species–this tells me where I can find them; this also is a picture of their evolution and diversification.
Above is the eye of an elegant quail whose iris, incidentally, appears lighter than that of California quail, at least to my eyes.
The species I am working with right now is the California quail (Callipepla californica). Notice in the map that this species occupies the westernmost portion of the range of this genus. It is the coastal quail–the baja quail. Of course, once you get into Sonora, the Gambel’s quail (Callipepla gambelii) becomes the coastal quail. It’s all a matter of ecology, perhaps.
In fall I will be in Sonora, searching out and working with the elegant quail (Callipepla douglasii), the only solely Mexican Callipepla.
Ecology, behavior and particularly evolution. These are the things about which I am interested. To start to elucidate the patterns in these species involves field work, captive work and molecular analysis. The best part is sitting and watching them. They are lovely and funny but most importantly they are unique and strange and they know, or at least appear to, how to situate themselves within the realm they inhabit.