Attack of the quail
Most of us have that one irrational fear. For me, it is spiders and I am thankful for the cooler weather that is sending them into a dormant state. For a friend of mine, it is bears, and when you think about it, that is not such an irrational fear. She was out to visit last week and we didn’t venture out in the dark as the bears have been active on our road lately.
Barbequeing in the pitch black was a little exciting; however, as I heard a loud rustling under the tree next door. After closing the gate to the deck, I ran inside to get a flashlight and was followed back outside by my friend, wondering if she could help with anything. Ahhhh, you can scare away whatever is under the tree, I thought, while simultaneously hoping that whatever was out there was gone. My wishes were not answered as the sound of crackling branches and leaves caused her to jump and run inside. Been there, done that! No large animal appeared in the beam of light from the flashlight, so I finished up and we consumed a delicious meal of steak and quinoa salad.
After she left the next day, I took Chester for a walk and scared a covey of California Quail and myself in the process. I had found the culprits (at least eight of them) for the hullabaloo of the previous evening. They settled around a bush down the hill and I was able to capture shots of a few of them. When my friend saw the pictures, she was relieved and commented they look like pinecones.
Cool facts from All about birds:
- Pairs of California Quail call antiphonally, meaning that the male and female alternate calls, fit them into a tightly orchestrated pattern.
- The California Quail’s head plume, or topknot, looks like a single feather, but it is actually a cluster of six overlapping feathers.
- As an adaptation to living in arid environments, California Quails can often get by without water, acquiring their moisture from insects and succulent vegetation. During periods of sustained heat they must find drinking water to survive. No wonder they do well in Kelowna!
Thanks for reading!