Today's post is about quail, but not in the usual context of my interest...
I had the most magical moment this weekend during my Saturday morning breakfast. I was lounging around at home when I noticed movement in my patio. A shuffling of gray and brown. A fluttering of the wings. And a WHOLE LOT OF KURURURURURUR NOISE.
When I looked over at my patio, this is what I saw:
I only saw one at first, and I thought to myself, "wow, this is so cool! What is that funny thing on that bird's head?"
And then, I saw more...
Seriously, I had about 20 of these guys in my tiny patio!!! They seem to have been feasting on some ants and snails. They got scared and 'walked away' - yes, walked, not flew - when I came out of the door to take a picture of them without the screen door in the way. (These pictures were taken with the screen door between me & the birds - hence the crappy images...)
I actually didn't know that they were a family of quail at first, so I consulted the Mogurin and my favorite environmental biologist, Seth. Both of them identified the bird at first sight and informed me that I was visited by California's state birds - the California quail! As for my observation that they walked away vs flying away, CA quail are more comfortable running than most birds, and they can pull off an amazing 12 mph. Jeez, I'm a multi-marathoner, but my top speed is 10 mph. They get my respect with that tiny stride!!!!
It's funny how both my response and the Papa Bear's response to finding out that our visitors were quail were, "Yummy!? Can we catch them?" And in case you are wondering, no, we can't catch them, since they are considered protected wildlife... or something or rather... I wonder where they nest... Growing up, uzura (quail) egg meat patties were my favorite things to eat... But that's a whole 'nother post in itself!