Friday, May 16, 2008


Yesterday I saw my first baby quails, out in the pond area, around the quail block with their parents. I counted three, but there might have been more. Today I saw a family with five young'uns. The babies are all in what I would judge to be 6th or 7th grade. I haven't seen any of the adorable fuzzy rolling thimbles. But the season is young.

I went out on the front porch last night to see what was up. (About two weeks ago I determined that at least one male quail was roosting in the dorm tree.) Last night I counted at least three and possibly more males up in the tree. I guess it has become a bachelor apartment. I also saw a female, but she jumped out of the tree and ran off. They were probably talking dirty to her.

These pictures are of some tragic quail chicks whose parents made a nest in a small porch area on my friend Hayford's carport, about five miles east and north of here. As he describes it, the deck is small and surrounded by a 3-foot wall. Apparently the parents thought it was a safe area for a nest, but didn't give any thought to how they would get the babies OUT of the safe area once they hatched. Alas, once the hatchlings appeared reality set in and after a couple of days the parents abandoned them to starve. Which they did.

Apart from the sadness of the whole thing, this did allow some fairly decent closeups of young quail. Check out their amazing camouflage. They look just like sandy ground with pebbles, where they are meant to spend most of their gradeschool education. Thanks to Hayford Peirce for the sad story and the great photos.

1 comment:

  1. OMG, how adorable. And what an episode of Life in the Raw! Birds are chirping like crazy here these days. No nesters in my windows though. That's okay with me. Apparently Pale Male and Lola did not have any hatchlings again this year. Maybe he's got a lady on the side. ;-) I went to an organ concert yesterday and the organist had to wait a few minutes to play the Liszt because the birds were chirping so loud--he thought he was going to have to play a Messiaen (who I was told if famous for creating bird sounds in his compositions). I do love the birds all atwitter at twilight. Or anytime actually. Hope you get some baby quails to guard over.