Select map overlays Admin Regions Bird Conservation Regions Blocks Coordinates Ecoprovinces Cities and Roads
Mountain Quail, Khanh Tran
Photo © Khanh Tran

Photo: Khanh Tran
Breeding evidence - Mountain Quail
Breeding evidence

Click for a larger version or to add map overlays

Mountain Quail
Oreortyx pictus

Click on plot to view table of mean abundance
Elevation range:
0 - 0 m
Conserv. status:
Not at risk
Global importance
of B.C. population:
Number of squares
ConfirmedProbablePossiblePoint counts
0 0 0 0
Long-term BBS trends
RegionYearsTrend (conf. interv.) Reliab.
BBS trends are not available for this species

Mean abundance by region

Bird Conservation Regions [plot]
NW Interior ForestBoreal Taiga PlainsGreat BasinNorthern RockiesN. Pacific Rainforest
Ecoprovinces [plot]
N. Boreal Mountains Taiga Plains Boreal Plains Georgia Depression Sub-Boreal Interior
S. Interior Mountains Central Interior Southern Interior S. Alaska Mountains Coast & Mountains

Mean abundance by habitat [plot]

Boreal Altai Fescue AlpineBoreal White and Black SpruceBunchgrassCoastal Douglas-fir
Coastal Mountain-heather AlpineCoastal Western HemlockEngelmann Spruce -- Subalpine FirInterior Cedar -- Hemlock
Interior Douglas-firInterior Mountain-heather AlpineMontane SpruceMountain Hemlock
Ponderosa PineSpruce -- Willow -- BirchSub-Boreal Pine -- SpruceSub-Boreal Spruce

Characteristics and Range The Mountain Quail is a secretive inhabitant of dense shrub and forest habitats in hill and mountain ranges along the Pacific Coast, and in the western Great Basin of North America. The northern limit of its native range is clouded by numerous introductions, but may have been the Columbia River in the Coast and Cascade mountains (Gutiérrez and Delehanty 1999). It was introduced to the lower Fraser River valley and southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia in the late 1800s, but only established a small breeding population on the southern tip of Vancouver Island (Campbell et al. 1990).

Distribution, Abundance, and Habitat The last breeding record for British Columbia was in the early 1970s; there were just four records between that time and the publication of The Birds of British Columbia in 1990. No records during the Atlas and only two eBird records from the 1970s suggest that the species is now extirpated from British Columbia.

Conservation and Recommendations The failure of previously introduced populations to sustain themselves should dissuade any further attempts to introduce the bird to British Columbia.

Peter J.A. Davidson

Recommended citation: Davidson, P.J.A. 2015. Mountain Quail in Davidson, P.J.A., R.J. Cannings, A.R. Couturier, D. Lepage, and C.M. Di Corrado (eds.). The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of British Columbia, 2008-2012. Bird Studies Canada. Delta, B.C. [14 Jul 2024]

Birds Canada Privacy Policy | Accessibility Policy
British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas, Birds Canada, 5421 Robertson Road Delta, BC V4K 3N2 Canada
Phone: 1-877-592-8527 E-mail:
Banner photo: Glenn Bartley