California Quail (Callipepla californica) are very social birds.
During the breeding season, females will often form multi-family flocks with other females and their young; frequently, multiple males - not always the genetic fathers of the chicks - will also join the group.
Adults that participate in this tend to live longer than those that don’t, perhaps because of the greater number of eyes watching for predators. In the fall and winter, birds come together in coveys numbering as many as 75 individuals, typically including many family groups.
During courtship and breeding, males and females call antiphonally - that is, they alternate calls in a form of duet. Both males and females bear the distinctive plume, though it is darker in males than females. The plume appears to be a single feather, but is actually made up of six.
photograph by Len Blumin on Flickr
(via: Peterson Field Guides)
I think quail are absolutely adorable. <3