They eat seeds, berries, and occasionally insects. They also plant shoots, where they get moisture from.
They grow to be 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) long. A male will weigh about 180 g, a female about 175g.
They have pale bluish-grey feathers, with marks in their feathers that look like scales. The scale-looking marks can be slate blue to bluish-grey and appear on their neck, back and belly. They have a have a white-tipped crest. Males have plain brown chins, whereas females have faint brown pin stripes. Males also have larger heads.
Blue Scale Quail are very nervous, timid, skittish but peaceful birds. When bothered, they tend to run, rather than trying to fly or hide. They will almost always run away when fed and watered.
They build their nests on the ground hidden in dense plants. The females lay 13 to 14 eggs at a time. The eggs will weigh about 11g, and be about 1 1/4 inches long by 1 inch (3 1/3 cm by 2 1/2 cm) wide. The females are very prolific egg layers, up to 50 to 60 eggs a year from May to September. The eggs can have light or dark brown spots on them.
It takes about 23 days for an egg to hatch. Males will rarely help females look after eggs, though they will help defend them. Insects are fed to the young for their first 3 to 4 weeks. Within 11 to 15 weeks, they will be up to adult weight. In the wild, about 70 percent die of them in their first year.
Blue Scale Quail live in small flocks of about 20 birds, though more are possible, then form off into pairs to mate.
There are four subspecies, that tend to live in different regions: Callipepla squamata castanogastris (aka Chestnut-bellied Blue Scale), Callipepla squamata pallida, Callipepla squamata hargravei, and Callipepla squamata squamata (sic.)