Saturday morning as I was getting ready for work, I read the daily email from the eBird listserver about rare bird sightings in Texas and saw that someone had seen a pair of Gambel’s Quail at Palo Duro Canyon, so when I got off work Monday morning I headed south to see if I could get a picture of them. Gambel’s Quail aren’t native to the area and after searching eBird’s species map, I discovered that there has never been a reported sighting of them in the Panhandle. The closest one is nearly 200 miles west at Santa Rosa Lake in New Mexico in 2005.
I’m not sure how far Gambel’s Quail roam, but their main range is in the deserts of southern California, Arizona, western New Mexico, extreme west Texas, and northern Mexico. I wonder if this pair might not be domestic birds from one of the ranches or farms around Palo duro Canyon.