California Bird Watching

California Bird Watching - a video of California quail up close - a previous Photo of the Week

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A short video of California quail up close

6 Jul 2012


This previous Photo of the Week is something different - it's a video - a short video of some Central California wildlife - California quail.

Quail are very shy and wary little birds, and for that reason, most visitors (or residents for that matter) to Central California don't see much of them.

They do frequently cross the area's backroads and can be seen while driving. But they are very quick and will be in the brush before you can get a second look.

If you are fortunate enough to get a close look at these cautious bird, it is one of the true joys of California bird watching.

You may encounter them while hiking, but you'll only know they were there after the covey explodes (that's really the only word that fits) from their cover and flies quickly away on their stubby wings.

Listen carefully to the audio - you will hear the quail's sharp "clicks" whereby they keep tabs on each other even when they aren't in visual contact.

The males have the dark face with a bit more pronounced markings on their breast than the females.

A male California quail

As you can see from this still photo, the California quail is an exquisite little bird (they are only about 10" long).

They are also quite fetching and endearing. The small group in the video were only a few of the covey of about 30 that make their way up and down the hill by my house each day.

They have been appearing each morning and getting water from a sprinkler valve that is leaking.

The covey consists of approximately 5-6 adult males, 15 adult females and the remainder are young from this years hatch.

I managed to get this video only by setting up prior to their arrival and even then I had to partially hide behind the drapes.

If you are out hiking or near an area with brush, listen for those little clicks. That will be the quail. They also have two calls, both of three syllables: the first call emphasizes the middle syllable. Some bird books describe it as chi-CA-go; my wife hears it as get-BACK-here.

The second call is of equal emphasis on all three syllables.

Just remember to be still and quiet and you may have your own close encounter of the quail kind.

Now, you may have already been Central California bird watching and have a great wildlife story and photos to go along with it.

Did you know that you can share that with everyone here by simply clicking on this link? It will take you to a page where you can tell your great "wildlife" story, upload up to four photos and you're done!

It's really easy and fun to see your page published!

Central California chaparral - perfect quail habitat

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