The breeding biology of California quail in New Zealand
- Wildlife Service, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington
The breeding biology of Lophortyx californicus in North America has been described by Sumner (1935). Glading (1938), Howard and Emlen (1942), Genelly (1955), Raitt (1960) and Lewin ( 1963); in the Hawaiian Islands by Schwartz and Schwartz (1949) and in New Zealand by Williams (1952, 1959).
Much more local information has now been gathered and this paper is concerned mainly with annual and local variations in the onset and duration of events in the breeding season, and with annual variations in clutch size, nest success and the fertility and hatchability of eggs—all factors that might be expected to show correlation with population fluctuations previously described (Williams 1963) which are now known to be no longer cyclic (Williams 1966).
The following study was made in the central North Island, near the northern end of Lake Taupo, and in Central Otago in the South Island, within a 40-mile radius of the town of Clyde.