Scaled Quail, Callipepla squamata, Common Sunflower, Helianthus annuus, dietary energetics


We analyzed the energy content of seeds of common sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) obtained from the crops of scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) collected from plains-mesa sand-scrub habitat in Eddy and Lea counties, New Mexico. Seeds were removed from crops and dried for 48 hours at 60°C to remove moisture and to standardize masses. Seeds were then analyzed for gross caloric value (i.e., energy content) in an oxygen bomb calorimeter. Energy content of seeds of common sunflowers from New Mexico was greater than that of many seeds previously reported from the diet of scaled quail and other granivorous birds and comparable to previous measurements of seeds of the same species made in Kansas.