Tuesday, June 28, 2005

June 28, 2005
I guess the rattlesnakes and coyotes are going to be very well fed this summer. There are quail all over the place. Sunday afternoon I counted 26(!) young quail with their parents. I might have even missed some. I don't know if this was a blended family or a family where 26 babies lived, though I suspect the former. The attrition seems to be very high in general, and these were pretty well grown. It was exciting to watch them as they came into view.

This morning, a mama and papa and two adolescent chicks came to the pond. I think this might be the former 3-family, but I'm only guessing. As I say, there are a lot of quail. The mama in this group had a hard time getting through the wire mesh around the pond fence. The spaces aren't very big, but there are apparently some large enough for rabbits and fat quail to squeeze through. Mama had trouble, though, and tried square after square, all along one side, before she finally found one that she could get through.

The baby doves are growing quickly. They look like actual birds now, and are the size of finches. Their little beaks are very long, and they still spend most of the day sitting motionless in the nest, either snuggled with mama or waiting till she comes back if she has gone off for some reason. I was thinking yesterday that she'll probably be glad when they're gone and out of the nest and she can go back to just pecking the ground, bathing in the pond, and generally hanging out somewhere else.

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