Yesterday morning a large number of quail were feeding at the quail block when they suddenly exploded, flying off in all directions. A moment later the hawk landed on the back fence, then took off after a slow-to-get-going quail. I ran outside, and saw the hawk flying alone, so hopefully the quail got away.
We are going to put in a shade cloth canopy—a kind of carport for the quail over the quail block in the corner by the porch. I’m hoping it will somewhat hide the quail from the hawk and also provide shade for the chicks, once they start coming. We’re going to do it now, to see if the quail will still feed or if they will feel too hemmed in.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the quail explosion, and I believe that they all suddenly fly off in different directions to startle and momentarily confuse whatever predator is after them. They might not be able to do that from a shelter.