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Essential to its well-being, and one that it appears to enjoy, is the quail’s habit of dusting. A depression, or dusting bowl, is scratched and pecked free of vegetation and the soil finely ground three or four inches deep. When dusting, quail immerse their breasts in the bowl and throw dust across their backs with their beaks and feet. Several birds will sometimes enter the bath together and shower one another with dust. During rainy periods, dust baths are sometimes located under the elevated portion of a downed log. As long as there has otherwise been some recent soil disturbance throughout the area, no further effort need be made to provide dusting sites.

An image of a disturbed patch of dirt where a quail likely took a dust bath

Typical quail dust bath on the edge of good cover, near a crop field.