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20 Mar 2017
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Photo credit: Wikipedia

Catalina island is home to California’s state bird

Whether it’s bald eagles soaring over the island’s remote coastline or ravens frolicking in the skies over Avalon, bird life on Catalina Island is fascinating for both lifelong birders and amateur avian aficionados. One species that makes Catalina Island home is a signature species for the state. The California quail is California’s official state bird. There are seven subspecies of California quail, one of which makes its home on Catalina Island.

These ground-dwelling birds are grey and tan and have a distinctive top knot of feathers. They eat berries and seeds and prefer to run when startled, but can occasionally take to the air in a short, low-flying burst. Quail are social creatures, usually found in small groups known as coveys, which depending on time of year can expand to impressive numbers.

Quail are relatively common on the island, although they are considered a bird species of special concern by the California Department of Fish and Game. They seem to enjoy foraging along the roadsides and can often be spotted near the top of Avalon Canyon Road. If you have a chance for venture further afield, Middle Ranch Road is another favorite spot for quail spotting.