Authors: Charles J. Randel III, C. Zach Johnson, Pedro M. Chavarria, Roel R. Lopez, Nova J. Silvy, John M. Tomeček

The Montezuma quail (Cyrtonyx montezumae ) is an arid‐land quail species found locally in the southwestern United States, and south into Mexico following the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range to Oaxaca. The reproductive season (Jun to Sep) for Montezuma quail is late compared with other quail species, excluding scaled quail (Callipepla squamata ). We used plumage characteristics to age hunter‐harvested wings (harvested 2008–2009 in Pima and Santa Cruz counties, AZ, USA) and back‐dating methods based on primary‐feather molt to estimate hatch date. We found peak hatch occurred from late July to mid‐August, with 10.6% of estimated hatch dates in October, which is later than previously reported. Future research should focus on determining how annual precipitation influences hatch date using hunter‐harvested wings and back‐dating techniques. © 2019 The Wildlife Society.

Suggested Citation

Randel III, C.J, C.Z Johnson, P.M. Chavarria, R.R. Lopez, N.J. Silvy, J.M. Tomecek. 2019. Estimating Montezuma quail hatch date using primary molt at harvest. The Wildlife Society. 43(4):766-768; 10.1002/wsb.1017.