Long legged quail

Only the male long-legged quail has a head plume. The females are otherwise identical although a little smaller.

The long-legged quail, Deserta catholica, is a large New World quail from the deserts of North America, in After Man: A Zoology of the Future.

Small mammals and reptiles of the desert, like the desert spickle and the fin lizard, are preyed on by ground-dwelling birds such as the long-legged quail. Its eggs, which are laid in sand scrapes in sheltered spots beneath bushes or overhanging rocks, are sat on continuously to protect them from the extremes of heat and cold that are typical of the desert climate's daily temperature range.

The breeding cycle of this and many other desert birds is dependent on the rainy season, the birds nesting as soon as the first spring rains appear and continuing as long as the wet season lasts. In unusually dry years no breeding takes place.

Long legged quail eggs

The eggs of long-legged quails are laid in sheltered hollows in the desert sand.

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