Friday, November 21, 2008

Last night I decided to sit out on the porch and watch the quails roost. Nobody appeared till nearly dark and then all of a sudden at least fourteen showed up! Twelve of them, as near as I could see, roosted in the dorm tree. Two scurried off to the west to roost in parts unknown.

Above is a repeat photo of the dorm tree. It looks pretty big, but twelve quails are a LOT of quails.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cactus meltdown! I'm very sorry to report that our beautiful, multi-headed golden barrel cactus in the backyard has succumbed to some form of disgusting rot. I have spoken to experts at two different places; one said it was an insect and would spread if I didn't spray insecticide all over the place, while the other said it is the result of a pathogen in the soil that can grow if there is too much moisture. We had so much rain this summer I suspect the pathogen. However, our yard guy dug the cactus up today (while we were away). When we came back, a sickening smell of decay hung over the whole yard. He said the whole cactus was rotten, down to the roots, and filled with a gross yellow fluid that was crawling with white maggots. Yuck!

On the positive side I saw a mockingbird in the yard yesterday morning, and yesterday evening I watched two quails roost in my dorm tree.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nothing too exciting or unusual has happened lately. The weather is still very warm for late October (though not unprecedentedly so)--up to ninety most days, then cooling down to the sixties in the morning.

Quail continue to visit my quail block, and the pond area often hosts thrashers, sparrows, house finches, goldfinches, starlings, the occasional cardinal and pyrrhuloxia (their numbers are well down this year), cactus wrens, woodpeckers, hummingbirds (these days mostly Anna's), and I apologize to any bird-group I have forgotten. Every morning a young Cooper's hawk drops by between nine and eleven, usually perches on the fence for a while looking around, sometimes stops and drinks at the pond, and then flies away. The picture above is a male Anna's from my old yard.

This morning I watched a beautiful goldfinch stand on the turtle's head and drink from the stream flowing from its mouth.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


As we were out walking two days ago two large hawks (I think they were both Cooper's) swooped overhead, and on the way back a young coyote came trotting out of the scrub right in my path. The coyote and I both did a double-take and he or she immediately retreated. I said, little realizing how true this would prove to be, that the theme of the day seemed to be predators.

That night, around seven PM while we were meditating, an unearthly, unbelievably loud howl filled the air. Almost immediately it was joined by at least one other howl, up and down the scale, and less loud but even more chilling, the high-pitched yips of a terrified dog. This continued for nearly a minute and then... complete silence. It sounded as if it were right out our front door. We looked, but saw nothing. And the next day there was no sign that anything had happened.

We hope it was not the neighbor's dog, who is allowed to roam pretty much at will. She is old, and small, and I worry about her, though I've never seen her out at night. We called the neighbors, but have not heard from them.

The picture above is a public-domain coyote from New York that closely resembles the ones we see around here. The website is

Friday, October 10, 2008

A couple of Cooper's hawks have taken to visiting my pond area in the morning. One is an adult, the other a juvenile, and neither is banded. I do not know their sexes, but they are beautiful, magnificent, fierce birds.

This morning the juvenile landed by the pond and drank so I could get a good look at it. Then it flew up to the fence, posed some more, and flew away.

Every morning now I find piles of feathers--dove or quail (*sob*).

This photo is from a couple of years ago. The hawk in the photo was banded. What gorgeous, dangerous creatures these are!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

ODDS and ENDS. I'm going to take a moment to answer some questions left by Dale. First, about the logistics of the house, oleanders, trees, etc.: the above picture shows the house from the front. The house faces (very roughly south). There are lines of oleanders along the property lines to both the east and the west (right and left, respectively, as you face the house).

The dorm tree is just to the left of the front porch. The olive tree, which you can't see in this picture, is on the west side of the house.

I'm pretty sure that the large family of quail that I used to think were roosting in the oleanders to the east (but now think are roosting in the evergreens by my eastern neighbors' front porch) is the same family I've been seeing all along. I think this because it seems to be rare for so many quail to grow to near adulthood in one family. (Most families seem to have just two or possibly three grown chicks.) I see one or at most two such very large families out by the quail block. I think it's the same guys.

As for the topknots on the quail: the males have dangling, thick black topknots that I like to refer to as fishing lures, because that is what they look like to me. The females have more slender topknots that tend to be more upright. The males have black faces with reddish-brown caps, the females have gray faces. Check this great Wikipedia article for excellent photos and lots more information:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Update on the quail roosting in my tree:

Last night I watched two sets of four quail approach the tree, but as I wasn't on the porch couldn't tell if they roosted in it. I thought they were my regular quail. A few minutes later I moved out onto the porch, and lo and behold, along came another two sets of four each! These were my regular quail.

First, two pairs of male and female. They are always together, so so I think it's a set of parents and their two mostly-grown offspring. The next set of four sometimes come along a few minutes later, though last night they were right on the heels of the first guys. These are definitely a family of four. I haven't yet gotten a close enough look to determine the genders of the chicks.

So... it's possible I have sixteen quail roosting in my tree! This is a lot of quail for one tree, or so it seems to me. I know that the later roosters always get into vocal squabbles with whoever is there first. Sometimes one or more quail jump out of the tree and run around on the ground for a while before re-roosting. Also something I just noticed fairly recently is that a lot of quail delay going to roost until they have had a chance to take a dust bath. Maybe it keeps them from being itchy all night.

I have no new quail pictures, so the above is another shot from Agua Caliente Park.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Two things: First, this is another beautiful cactus flower from our front yard. The cactus itself is spherical--about the size and shape of a very large canteloupe. I looked through my nature books and did some Internet research, but couldn't identify it. I think it may be a gymnocalycium or possibly a mammalaria, but I haven't seen other striped flowers like this.  WILL ANYONE READING THIS WHO KNOWS THE ID PLEASE LEAVE A NOTE.

Second: I haven't seen the family of ten quails lately--they head next door really early. But I think I know where they are roosting. Our neighbors invited us over to tell us they are moving. I noticed that they have two tall and very thick evergreens beside the front door. A family of ten could slip right into either tree and disappear in a minute.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A quickie, before I forget. Most cacti bloom late spring (prickly pear) or early summer (sahuaros). For some reason barrel cacti bloom in the late summer. We have lots of barrels on our property, including the beautiful golden barrels, which I have never seen in flower.

These pics are of two barrels just east of our driveway. There are others with somewhat different colors, but all are shades of yellow, orange, and red.
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.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A few weeks ago when I was watering my shade garden (see picture), I was startled by a fairly large (around 2 ft) king snake uncoiling. He moved pretty fast to get away from the water.

He was there the next day and the next. I looked for him both days but didn't see him until he'd been disturbed by the watering. I never saw him again (except once out by the pond) and assumed he had moved because he didn't like being watered.

But no, about three weeks later my yard guy pointed out a two-foot long snakeskin in the shade garden. I took it out to photograph it, but it fell apart. So instead I'm showing a photo of the large king snake I snapped last year.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who knew?
    The other morning we went on a bird walk at Agua Caliente Park, a county park out east near Mt. Lemmon. I had heard of it, but never seen it. And I was dazzled. The park is on the grounds of an old cattle ranch. There are several huge ponds, fed by a perennial hot spring.
    According to signage, there were once two springs, one very hot, one cold. In an effort to increase the flow, the springs were dynamited, creating one warm spring. These pictures show the panorama as well as the spring itself (with a downed palm tree across it).
    As I hope these pictures indicate, the place is breathtakingly beautiful. More photos to come.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Last night I saw SEVEN birds head for the "dorm tree" out front. A few moments later a very large family group with at least eight half-grown chicks suddenly dropped onto the driveway in front from the air. I have no idea where they came from or why they were flying. They milled about a bit, then headed east to roost. I'm pretty sure they are roosting in the oleanders just north of our bedroom, but I can't see from inside the house.
    A bit more on the dorm tree. It is actually two trees: a Meyer lemon tree and an ornamental orange (or possibly a kumquat tree), which were for some reason planted right next to each other and have intertwined into one very large citrus tree. The two pictures show this: the size of the tree, and then the two kinds of fruit. You can see a Meyer lemon to the left toward the bottom of the picture.
    I will try to get more information on the large family group that may be roosting in the oleanders.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

     I've taken to watching the front yard late in the afternoon, because it is beautiful (see the picture above) and because there's a lot of animal activity, cactus wrens, bunnies, lizards, and toward sunset quail. I've seen a lot of families scurrying homeward, wherever that may be.
     The other night I saw a fairly large family seemingly heading toward the tree by my front porch... so I went out on the porch the next night and counted them as they roosted: ten! I don't know if they are all members of the same family, and several were quite young--maybe junior high age. I'll try to spend more time watching and see if I can get a better breakdown.
    It greatly cheers me to know quail are roosting in my "dorm tree" again. I can't help wondering how many--if any--of the adults were children from last year.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

     Okay; one more post on quails. Back when I was obsessively watching the families and trying to tell one from another, I noticed that one young quail in a very large family (I think there were 12 chicks) had been hatched with only one wing. At first he seemed to do just fine. He had that excited, curious, high-energy aspect that all baby birds seem to possess, and did well following his parents and siblings, though he was already noticeably smaller than the sibs.
     After a few days, though, I could tell that he was falling behind. He couldn't run as fast as the others--he'd be straggling behind as they all scurried across the back yard. He never seemed to lose his good spirits, though. One day he climbed on top of the quail block to feed with his father. Then the whole family left. He could not figure out how to get down. He tried running back and forth across the top of the block, looking over the edge as he decided whether or not to jump. His family was getting farther and farther away. Finally, he jumped into the air and tried to fly on his one pitiful little wing. He hit the ground in a heap, scrambled up, and took off after his family.
     I never saw him again.

Monday, August 04, 2008

    The main reason I've not been writing for a while is that I've had so much I wanted to discuss. I've decided to just do one thing at a time and see how that works. So... first, quail.
     I have gotten to see many, many more quail than I would ever have dreamed of this summer. It appears that all the quails in the neighborhood have spread the word about my pond and quail block. I have an unknown but large number of families visiting daily, with chicks of all ages from perhaps grade school through college. I'd guess the average size is three chicks; some families are much larger, others have only one or two chicks. A few sad couples have no remaining offspring.
     I have seen two childless couples roosting in the citrus tree by my front porch, but have not been paying much attention there. There are several families with young chicks who go rushing off each evening across the front yard to wherever they do roost. 
     And I see a number of families on the post-dawn morning walk. Usually, they are scurrying across the road. This morning a group of about eight quite young chicks FLEW across the road. I wonder if they were surprised to have pulled that off.

Friday, August 01, 2008

     It came early in July, along with really spectacular (and hideously uncomfortable) humidity. We had a huge amount of rain here for the first couple of weeks: according to my rain gauge, nearly five inches (total for the whole monsoon is supposed to be six inches).
     Then, nothing. It rained everywhere but this neighborhood for the rest of the month, though the humidity remained, and then a week ago the whole city dried up.
      It's supposed to return tomorrow. I look forward to it. It's uncomfortable, but the plants love it so much.

Friday, June 20, 2008

STILL WITH THE QUAIL. I've been spending a lot of time watching the quails. A LOT of time. I have many, many families. One seems to be a blended family of 10 or more chicks (started out with over 20) and two single fathers. They are all ages and all sizes. A few days ago I saw five teeny-tinies on the middle porch that might have just hatched. They were somewhere between thimbles and marshmallows in size (with legs). The very fuzzy picture above shows these guys--it gives some idea of how little they are.

The very little ones are the most fun to watch, because they seem to find the world all new and exciting, even though you can tell they don't like the heat. (They huddle in the shade, when they can find it.) But as soon as they arrive in my pond garden, they go zipping up to the pond or the quail block without checking to see if there are other quails or predators around. They seem very excited, like, "Oh, boy! We're back at Disneyland!" The older chicks are more jaded. Or cautious. You would be amazed at how fast those little-bitty quail can run.

Unfortunately, the other morning I found a tiny drowned chick in the pond, but overall this little oasis is probably more helpful to them than not. The second picture is of the pond area from inside my cool, comfortable office on a very hot day.

Two days ago a mother and three very small chicks found their way into the rose garden, a very narrow patio outside our bedroom. It is surrounded by a 6-foot tall brick wall, with a gate at one end. The gate is covered with mesh to keep rabbits out. Anyway, I tried to photograph these guys, but scared them. The mother flew up and over the wall. One of the chicks--somehow--flew to the top of the wall. The remaining chicks ran around frantically, trying to get out. I stepped away and watched as the guy on top of the wall ran back and forth a few times then took the plunge to the other side. The mother flew back into the garden and led the remaining babies to a gap in the gate. Then they, with the father, took off for the desert.

In other news: for two days running I had a beautiful 2-foot long black kingsnake in my shade garden. It evidently got tired of being watered every morning, though, and I haven't seen it recently. The third picture up there is of the shade garden. The extremely leafy plant at the right is a Japanese Fatsia, which I call my sumo plant.

A group of lizards (as many as 3) have been sitting in the cool breeze from our cooler on the ledge of our bedroom window. The cats watch them with great interest and longing. It's the first time I've ever seen lizards gather together. It's been VERY hot.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

...and more quails. We have a new quail block and lots of families of quail(s). Mostly they are two-parent families, but I think there's a single mom out there too. The largest group I've seen so far was a family with ten very tiny chicks. Today I saw a family with eight slightly-larger chicks, and think it may be the same family. There are at least two groups (grade school and junior college) of six chicks. A couple of singletons also. Some of the chicks are nearly as big as adults now, but I haven't been able to distinguish their sex yet. I'm not sure when the males develop their distinctive coloring, or when the topknots on the males turn into fishing lures. I'll definitely keep observing, though!

A couple of days ago I looked up to see a family of quail standing inside the gate on my back porch. I grabbed the camera in time to get this one fuzzy picture. I think I counted five or six chicks... they're all high schoolers.

The families are only allowed to eat one at a time. In the morning when it's cool, you can see new families lined up out of sight of the group that is feeding. Then they move in... the fathers chase each other around a bit, and the feeding continues.

The only other thing of interest lately, is that I've been deadheading blossoms from geraniums and hibiscus out into the pond area, where they always quickly disappear. This morning I saw a rabbit munch on a spent hibiscus blossom with great relish. He sniffed at the geranium and didn't seem to like the blossom part, but then he started eating the stem, from the bottom up to the blossom. It looked as if he had a geranium growing out of his mouth!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This beautiful picture is used with permission from the photographer, Brian E. Small, whose website ( contains not only awesome photos of birds but also several very useful articles on birding and photography.

The photo shows a Golden-fronted Woodpecker, and the reason it is here is that one of these birds showed up in my pond area two days ago. I was at the computer when I spotted a woodpecker on the quail block. At first glance it looked like an ordinary Gila Woodpecker, but I'd never seen one on the quail block, so I pulled out my binoculars for a closer look. Through the binoculars it was clear this wasn't an ordinary Gila: it had yellow above its beak and a very large patch of yellow at the nape of its neck. Instead of a small round "cardinal's cap" it had a larger, brighter, irregularly-shaped patch of red on top. it also looked somewhat... strange. Definitely not a Gila.

I went to my bird book and started looking up flickers, which are very similar to woodpeckers, but none had the yellow patches. So I flipped to the next woodpecker page, and here was the guy out in my yard, exact down to every detail. When I checked the map, I discovered that Golden-fronted woodpeckers do NOT appear in Arizona. They're common in Oklahoma and Texas and even extreme eastern New Mexico. So I posted the sighting on the Audubon Rare Bird Line, and this morning got an email telling me that this is the FIRST report EVER in Arizona.

I don't know if they will take my word for it, but I am 100% sure of the identification. And I'm really excited!

Quail update: yesterday I saw a family of six babies--kindergartners, maybe, so young they didn't even have mohawks yet. They were SO CUTE! They kept sitting down in the dirt, as if walking around was still too new to put all that energy into. A little later I saw a family of teenagers--six or seven. I don't know if this is one of the families I saw before with the offspring having grown. They do mature very quickly.

Also--a big javelina wandered through our front yard a couple of afternoons ago on the way to the back yard. I wanted to photograph it, but by the time I got outside with my camera it was already lumbering off through the prickly pear to the neighbors' yard.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We're having very weird weather this week... extreme wind, and I do mean extreme today and tomorrow, followed by much lower temps (into the seventies!) and maybe even rain Friday. I'm worried about all the little baby birds who will be blown out of their nests and probably die, not to mention the baby quails... depending on size, I can imagine some of them blowing away too. Oh, well.

Quail update: There have been quite a few families at the quail block by my pond. I saw 7 or 8 first-graders more than once, and a family of four sixth-graders. I've seen a family crossing the road on my walk. I don't know if anything is going on in the dorm tree just now.

The most exciting happening lately occurred day before yesterday. I went out back to look at the quail block around sunset. I had my camera with me. But before I could get to the pond area I saw three animals running east across the back yard. Two were rabbits; one was striped and so big that at first I thought it might be a coatamundi. When I got closer I realized it was the BIGGEST gila monster I have ever seen. I thought it was at least two feet long, but the reptile book says they only grow to 14 inches. It was running, with a strange rolling gait in which all movement seemed to come from its front shoulders. I was so excited I couldn't get my camera out and set up before the gila monster ran into a big thicket of prickly pear. So... no picture. I think I do have a gila monster pic I shot while out hiking a few years ago. I'll see if I can find it. And I will be on the lookout for THE GIANT MUTANT NINJA GILA MONSTER.

Finally: the pictures with this post. One was taken the other morning on Calle Karina, one of the streets we power walk on. The other is a closeup of my young pomegranate tree. This is the first year it has really bloomed, and it amazes me. Instead of putting all its blossoms out at once, like a citrus or peach tree, it sets them out now and then, from time to time. New ones are still coming out (it started in February!) while old ones are turning into pomegranates. You can see one of each in the photo.

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.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It finally happened. We finally were invaded by killer bees. "Killer" is something of a misnomer for Africanized bees, which can and do kill humans and other animals, but it's not as if they're going out looking for other beings to slaughter; rather, they will attack when they feel their hive is threatened. Thus, it's not dangerous to do stuff while the bees are foraging (buzzing flowers or my pond), but it can be dangerous to do pretty much of anything near the hive.

Anyway, our handyman was here this morning fixing the cooler baffle when he noticed a few bees going in and out through a crack at the top of our house just below the roof. I immediately called a bee exterminator, and they said they'd be here in a couple of hours. About two and a half hours later, Rocko heard a very loud sound of buzzing outside his office. I came in to look, then over to my office, and the air outside the windows was literally thick with bees milling around. It was like something from a horror movie.

I thought it was probably just a swarm, getting ready to move in, which wouldn't have been dangerous (till after they moved in), but I wasn't sure enough of my natural history knowledge to go outside and see what was up. About five minutes later, the bee guy arrived. When I told him the sequence of events, he said that it was probably a swarm, and went to take a look. He came back and said that the bees milling around were drones, and that the main part of the hive was already inside. He said the guys we saw this morning were probably advance scouts, who had decided that this was indeed a lovely place to set up the new hive. I took a picture of the swarm as it proceeded inside the crack. (I've seen swarms on trees, and they look like very strange, constantly wriggling, buzzing footballs.)

Bee guy put on his bee suit and went back to the swarm. He told us that the whole thing was inside now, and we should get out of the way. So we went inside. I watched as much as I could see from the window, which wasn't much, except that suddenly the air was thick with bees again, only this time they were dropping out of the air as they died. They began to pile up on top of the cooler, and he brushed them to the ground.

Five minutes later he was finished, except for plugging up the hole. He's coming back Sunday to bee-proof the whole house and the shed. He used pyrethrine, which does dissipate, but smells awful. He said that ants will probably eat the dead bees.

A couple of hours later, after doing some errands in the neighborhood, I went back to the bee area to change a hummingbird feeder. There were practically no dead bees around (they had already been eaten or blown away, I guess), but there were about a dozen live bees, buzzing around in seeming puzzlement. They could smell the Queen's pheromone, I guess, but had no way to get to it. I'm assuming they were stragglers, or scouts who had checked out another location or something.

And that's my bee story.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

As Anonymous noted, that turkey has been up here for a long time. And the desert, indeed, is very beautiful. The brittle bush in our neighborhood was in exuberant bloom for weeks, as yellow and vibrant as forsythia back east. Cactus are starting to bloom; prickly pads are ringed with young new pads and in some cases buds. Some of the mammalia are starting to put out blossoms.

Nevertheless, I have no gorgeous desert photos today, though there will be some soon. Instead, I offer a distant, blurry photo of a phaenopepla, perhaps the same individual that I saw drinking out of my pond the other day, and two photos from a fairly recent full moon over the garden just before dawn.

Quail update: For some time now, we only see them in pairs, though large groups still gather at the quail block. I don't know if any roosting is going on in the citrus tree beside the porch. About a month ago I saw ONE female jump up into the tree to roost, but from the lack of clucking, I think she may have been alone. I'm hoping for some baby quail soon. We have no dove nests in the carport so far this year, but there's a lot of bird sex going on out by the pond. This is such a wonderful time of year!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

How long it has been since I have posted here! We've gone all the way through winter and are now just starting with spring, though I suppose there could still be a freeze. There's been a lot of rain and a couple of freezes, so my garden looks awful. I have some pots of petunias and pansies that have done very little so far, and my beautiful vines and flowering shrubs have all frozen back.

This picture is of the turkey that has free run of the patio at a vegetarian restaurant we go to for Thanksgiving dinner. It always looks very thankful, and I've been meaning to post it for a while.

But what about the quail, you ask? It's been a very long time since I've watched them roost in the tree by the front porch. I don't actually know if they are still doing it. It's been too cold to stand out there and watch.

But I watch them in the back yard and around the neighborhood. They've been in large coveys for a while--usually I see at least six, eight, or more quail together at a time. A lot of them gather around the quail block by the pond (I will have to stop putting those out soon because the white wings will be back in March and they are just pigs. A block that should last for a month is gone in a week. (A quail block, to answer the question posed earlier, is a compacted, dense block of seeds held together with something sticky but I don't know what.))

What I've been noticing is that the quails are starting to appear more in pairs. Today I watched two male quails harrassing a female who clearly wasn't in the mood for sex yet. But that is coming. All kinds of baby birds are coming! I can't wait!

The female with the missing tail that I watched in the fall eventually regrew all her tail feathers. I also watched a female with an apparently broken wing. Her covey-mates were very solicitous of her. I lost track, though. Either she healed or died.