Sunday, September 07, 2008

QUAIL UPDATE! I'm back to my obsessive evening quail watching, except that I'm watching the front yard from inside the house because it is still too hot and humid to go out on the porch, except briefly.

I'm a little confused about what's what, but here is what I know. Until maybe a week ago, a large family of quail (I counted eleven) headed off toward the neighbors' yard every evening fairly early (about 20 minutes before sundown). I thought they were roosting in the oleanders, but once saw them going behind the oleanders, so probably they had a tree somewhere in the neighbors' yard.

About fifteen minutes later, several other quail headed west. I stepped out on the porch and saw several of them head for either the other neighbors' yard or the olive tree in our side yard. Not clear on where they went. A few others--maybe as many as eight or nine--in separate small groups headed for the dorm tree around the same time.

Then, just a few days ago, I saw a large family group seemingly coming from the east (where the oleanders are) and seemingly heading toward the dorm tree. I went out on the porch the next night and confirmed it: a family of eight (six 3/4-grown chicks and two parents) all roosted in the dorm tree. I don't know if anyone else is there.

I haven't seen the family of eleven in several days. I'm wondering if something happened to their roosting place, and they are now the family of eight. I will continue to watch and report.

1 comment:

  1. There's a lot of information here.
    First I want to say, great pictures! These are the most close-up shots of quail I've seen. And I know how hard it is to get good shots, having tried it in your front yard. What is that plume that seems to hang down from their heads? Is it only on one gender? Also where are their heads? It seems that the closer bird has a bill sticking out of a black area that might be his face. And then is the brown area the crown of the head?

    Now to logistics. I think I have established that your neighbors to the east have an oleander bush. This is where you thought the quail were heading for at sunset. But you have also observed quail heading west, where there is an olive tree on your property, and beyond that lies your western neighbors' property. Further, you seem to be drawing conclusions based on observations on different nights. So it is still unclear if there is one family of indeterminate number that stays variously at hotel, dormitary, or motel; or whether there are multiple families.

    In another logistic observation, you seem to have entered your cactus post out of order (or dated incorrectly--how can that happen?) so that now the sequence of time is even more confusing than normal for sexygenarians.