Cyrtonyx montezumae - (Vigors, 1830)
Montezuma Quail
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cyrtonyx montezumae (Vigors, 1830) (TSN 175900)
French Common Names: Colin arlequin
Spanish Common Names: Codorniz Moctezuma
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104569
Element Code: ABNLC19010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
Image 7636

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Galliformes Odontophoridae Cyrtonyx
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cyrtonyx montezumae
Taxonomic Comments: Composed of two groups: montezumae and sallaei of the Pacific slope of Mexico (AOU 1998). Possibly conspecific with C. ocellatus (AOU 1983, Sibley and Monroe 1990). Formerly in family Phasianidae; placed in family Odontophoridae by AOU (1997).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 25Nov1996
Global Status Last Changed: 25Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (05Jan1997)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arizona (S4), New Mexico (S3B,S3N), Texas (S3B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Resident from central and southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, western and central Texas, northern Coahuila, central Nuevo Leon and central Tamaulipas south in mountains of Mexico to west-central Veracruz and central Oaxaca (AOU 1983).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Can be eliminated locally with removal of more than about 55% of understory vegetation by livestock grazing; probably suseptible to local elimination with frequent and intense hunting pressure (see Stromberg 1990).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Resident from central and southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, western and central Texas, northern Coahuila, central Nuevo Leon and central Tamaulipas south in mountains of Mexico to west-central Veracruz and central Oaxaca (AOU 1983).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, NM, TX

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
TX Val Verde (48465)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
13 Lower Devils (13040302)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Pairs observed April-May through September in southeastern Arizona (Stromberg 1990). Clutch size is 6-14 (usually 10-12). Incubation, by both sexes in turn, lasts 25-26 days (Terres 1980). Nestlings are precocial. Young are cared for by both parents.
Ecology Comments: Usually found in pairs or small groups. Coveys in southeastern Arizona relatively sedentary on a daily basis, periodically changed use areas; home range generally 1-5 ha in winter, expanding to up to 50 ha with pair formation in late winter and early spring; up to 4 coveys/259 ha in most densely occupied habitat (Stromberg 1990).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Pine-oak and oak scrub in highlands, especially in open woodland with grass understory (Subtropical and lower Temperate zones) (AOU 1983). In oak savanna in southeastern Arizona, preferred SE-facing hillsides in tall grasses for night roosts and north-facing hillsides for day use (Stromberg 1990). Nests on the ground in a scrape lined with grasses. Often nests under the cover of a bush or grass tuft.
Adult Food Habits: Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Forages on the ground for: bulbs of chufa and nut grass, etc; acorns; seeds of grasses, legumes, and pinyon pine; juniper berries; insects (Terres 1980).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 22 centimeters
Weight: 195 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Quail

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single observations outside the normal breeding distribution.

If a population moves between a breeding area and a widely separate nonbreeding area, consider creating a separate breeding and nonbreeding occurrences.

Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: High potential for gene flow among populations of even relatively sedentary birds such as quail make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for quail; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other. If locations farther apart than the separation distance are known to represent a single population, treat these as parts of the same occurrence, regardless of the distance.

Summer ranges of California Quail are larger and more scattered than winter ranges; home ranges of laying females in Oregon ranged from 6 to 77 hectares (Calkins et al. 1999). Home ranges of Bobwhites vary tremendously; from about 4 to about 100 hectares, up to 282 hectares in low quality habitat (Taylor et al. 1999a, Lee 1994, Manley 1994, DeVos and Mueller 1993). Montezuma Quail have very small home ranges; pairs are often found in the same areas (50 square meters) year after year; covey home ranges after breeding are about 1-2 hectares (Bishop 1964, Stromberg 2000). Mountain Quail relatively sedentary during breeding season, but can travel at least 25 kilometers to avoid snow in winter (Gutierrez and Delehanty 1999).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .3 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a home range of 6 hectares.
Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Winter range
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering individuals (including historical) at least several kilometers outside their breeding area; and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 10 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is an arbitrary value intended to result in occurrences of reasonable geographic scope. If locations farther apart than the separation distance are known to represent a single population, treat these as parts of the same occurrence, regardless of the distance.

Winter ranges of California Quail are smaller than summer ranges (Calkins et al. 1999). Mountain Quail relatively sedentary during breeding season, but can travel at least 25 kilometers to avoid snow in winter (Gutierrez and Delehanty 1999).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .3 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a relatively small home range of 6 hectares.
Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single observations outside the normal breeding distribution.

If a population moves between a breeding area and a widely separate nonbreeding area, consider creating a separate breeding and nonbreeding occurrences.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: High potential for gene flow among populations of even relatively sedentary birds such as quail make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for quail; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other. If locations farther apart than the separation distance are known to represent a single population, treat these as parts of the same occurrence, regardless of the distance.

Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 21Mar1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1983. Check-list of North American Birds, 6th edition. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas. 877 pp.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.

  • BirdLife International. 2004b. Threatened birds of the world 2004. CD ROM. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

  • Calkins, J. D., J. C. Hagelin, and D. F. Lott. 1999. California Quail (CALLIPEPLA CALIFORNICA). No. 473 IN A. Poole and F. Gill, eds. The birds of North America. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. 32pp.

  • DeVos, T. and B. S. Mueller. 1993. Reproductive ecology of Northern Bobwhite in north Florida. Proceedings of the National Quail Symposium III:83-89.

  • Gutierrez, R. J., and D. J. Delehanty. 1999. Mountain Quail (OREORTYX PICTUS). No. 457 IN A. Poole and F. Gill, editors. The birds of North America. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. 28pp.

  • Harrison, C. 1978. A Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North American Birds. Collins, Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Johnsgard, P. A. 1988. The quails, partridges, and francolins of the world. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. 264 pp.

  • Lee, J. M. 1994. Habitat ecology of Northern Bobwhite at Copiah County Wildlife Management Area. Masters thesis, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State.

  • Manley, S. W. 1994. Evaluation of old-field habitat manipulations for breeding Northern Bobwhites. Masters thesis, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State.

  • Oberholser, H.C. 1974. The bird life of Texas. 2 vols. Univ. of Texas Press, Austin.

  • Parker III, T. A., D. F. Stotz, and J. W. Fitzpatrick. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases for neotropical birds. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

  • Poole, A. F. and F. B. Gill. 1992. The birds of North America. The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. and The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Stromberg, M. R. 1990. Habitat, movements and roost characteristics of Montezuma quail in southeastern Arizona. Condor 92:229-236.

  • Stromberg, M. R. 2000. Montezuma Quail. No. 524 IN A. Poole and F. Gill (editors), The birds of North America. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. 20pp.

  • Taylor, J. S., K. E. Church, D. H. Rusch, and J. R. Cary. 1999a. Macrohabitat effects on summer survival, movements, and clutch success of Northern Bobwhite in Kansas. Journal of Wildlife Management 63:675-685.

  • Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

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Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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