Friday, December 9, 2011

Quail in the garden

Our winter bird feeder's been up on the grape arbor for a month now, and it's very well attended by sparrows, finches, juncoes and other small birds.  But the other day we had a new visitor gleaning the dropped seeds from the grass below--a big fat quail.  I don't know enough to say what kind but it's very identifiable by the little curl on top of its head.

Just a day later Harry spotted a few more in the yard.  In fact there are four regular visitors now.  I think there are two males and two females.  They usually come together and wander around among the other birds scratching and feeding on the ground.

They're very shy so I can't get a good photo.  Even a shadow of movement at the window and they start running across the grass with their heads high and their curls bobbing.  We feel so lucky to be able enjoy watching these visitors from our kitchen window.


  1. Are they Gambel's Quail ?
    I am surprised that they are so far north, maybe they escaped from someones yard ? Or maybe they do live that far north.
    They are all over my yard and as I watch them I have decided they are Switzerland. They get along with all the animals.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. Hi Parnsip,

    I looked up Gambel's Quail and I don't think so. These are fatter and the curlicue is angled differently. From what I can tell these are California Quail. Nice to know they're so peaceful.


  3. How very cool!

    I'm pretty sure this is the California Quail. I looked up their range and they are quite well-established where you live. BTW, they are an introduced species but apparently only thrive on the Island and around the southern Interior.


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