Tucson, Arizona

Encouraging Quail In Your Backyard

The best way to entice quail to visit your backyard is to mimic or restore, as best you can, their natural habitat in your own yard. This includes lots of native plants! Quail are very habitat-dependent and you'll see them most in neighborhoods where their preferred habitat exists in abundance


Here are 4 basic considerations for encouraging Gambel's quail in your yard.


Providing food. Planting native wildflowers, cactus, trees and grasses can help attract quail into the yard, especially when those plants are bearing fruit and seeds, which quail prefer. Quail also respond very well to a variety of foods you can offer such as quail blocks, mealworms and suet products.

Providing water. Quail will utilize birdbaths for drinking and bathing. While quail are perfectly equipped to deal with our hot dry summers, they do appreciate a clean water source. Use drippers, misters and water wigglers to get the water moving. This attracts the birds faster. 

Providing cover. Native plants such as cholla, prickly pear and grasses offer the best cover, allowing quail to hide from predators and protect themselves from the sun and bad weather. The denser the cover, the more beneficial it is to the birds.

Providing places to raise young. When providing good cover for quail, you'll also be providing good places for quail to raise their babies. Quail build an open nest, usually on the ground. However they are known to utilize flower pots and hanging baskets with no problem.