Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Okay, I promise I'll stop with the quail after this one last post. Last night I set up my chair on the porch to watch as usual. The three males plus one female came along and pretty quickly headed for the dorm tree. About five minutes later a lone male showed up... plunked himself down in the middle of the yard under a scrawny palo verde tree... and just sat there. Sitting, not standing. Not scratching for food. I began to wonder if he were sick or what. Also no sign of the family, and it was getting dark.

About ten minutes after the male showed up, two females arrived, then another male. The females, at least one of which was a juvenile, headed for the tree but didn't roost. The two males stayed in the yard till finally, the remaining female, I'm assuming Mama, showed up, and the whole family went to roost. So Daddy was simply waiting for Mama. I think that is very sweet.

Final note: today we saw a humongous crow standing by the side of the road. He did a knee bend before jumping into the air to fly away.

The picture above is a male verdin from the old house. These are very tiny birds--somewhat smaller even than goldfinches but bigger than hummers-- that build football-shaped nests, usually low enough in trees to see. They love sugar nectar and have a very loud voice for such a tiny bird.

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