Historical information

About the specimen:
The Californian Quail is a highly sociable bird commonly seen in small flocks. They have a distinctive appearance with the black plume on top of their head and white markings on the head and torso. This species reside in open woodland, bushy grassland, roadsides and fringes of urban areas. They are native to western America but have been introduced to areas outside this location including King Island. This species was established as the state bird of California in 1932.

Explain how it should look:

Copy and paste:
This specimen is part of a collection of almost 200 animal specimens that were originally acquired as skins from various institutions across Australia, including the Australian Museum in Sydney and the National Museum of Victoria (known as Museums Victoria since 1983), as well as individuals such as amateur anthropologist Reynell Eveleigh Johns between 1860-1880. These skins were then mounted by members of the Burke Museum Committee and put-on display in the formal space of the Museum’s original exhibition hall where they continue to be on display. This display of taxidermy mounts initially served to instruct visitors to the Burke Museum of the natural world around them, today it serves as an insight into the collecting habits of the 19th century.


Copy and paste this section:
This specimen is part of a significant and rare taxidermy mount collection in the Burke Museum. This collection is scientifically and culturally important for reminding us of how science continues to shape our understanding of the modern world. They demonstrate a capacity to hold evidence of how Australia’s fauna history existed in the past and are potentially important for future environmental research.

This collection continues to be on display in the Museum and has become a key part to interpreting the collecting habits of the 19th century.

Physical description

This male Californian Quail has a black forward drooping plume on the top of its head. It has a dark brown/black coloured cap on its head and a black face with distinct white markings on the sides of its face and neck. The back of the bird is brown.The belly is a lighter brown colour and the chest and back of the neck is a blue-grey. This specimen stands upon a wooden platform and has an identification tag tied around its leg.

Inscriptions & markings

46 / (b)?
Californian Scrub Quail /
Catalogue Page, 30. /

Metal tag:
4341 /