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Iipay Aa name: ‘Aahmaa

Common name: California Quail

Scientific name: Callipepla californica

Luckily, quail don’t need to run to a waterhole every time they are thirsty. One way the California Quail has adapted to chaparral habitat is by using insects and succulent vegetation as a source of water. It is like when we eat watermelon, we get a good snack with a nice sip of cooling juice. They also love to eat leaves, seeds, and flowers. Though they are known as the California Quail, their call sounds like “CHI-CA-GO” when they are yelling for their friends.

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California Quail is California’s state bird. In ‘Iipay Aa, its name is ‘Aahmaa. California Quails are small plump birds with different plumage among the females and males. Males are more colorful with a tuft of black feathers on the top of their head and black feathers around their eyes. They have bluish-gray feathers on their chests and brown on their back. Females are less colorful. They have smaller tufts on their heads and are covered in brown feathers. Quails rely on neutral colored feathers to blend in with their surroundings. These small birds have to hide from large predators like bobcats, coyotes, and even great horned owls! Kumeyaay People would hunt and eat ‘Aahmaa.

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