Sunday, June 22, 2014

Eight Baby Quail Feeding

This very large quail family has been showing up daily since the babies first hatched, about ten days ago. They started with eight, and still have eight, which probably means that the parents are very experienced (and lucky). This morning I spilled some Nijer seed on the floor of my back porch. As soon as the quail discovered it, they were after it. The baby quail at the extreme right of the frame are pecking at the brick wall--they may think it is a quail block.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Amazing dove parenting

This morning, standing at the kitchen window at dawn, I saw a cluster of four white-winged doves on the wall. At first I thought it was two adults feeding two chicks, but then realized it was one extremely patient adult feeding THREE very demanding chicks. I finally sorted it out, and believe it was mama or papa, two recently-fledged chicks, and one nearly full-grown chick from the previous clutch. I’ve always known white-wingeds were good parents, but had no idea they would continue to feed a fledgling until it was nearly full grown!

I do not have pictures of the incident, but here are nestling doves in the carport from a previous year.

White-winged siblings 5-16-2012 3-12-04 PM 1929x1331

These homely little guys will grow up to look like this beauty:

White-winged dove CU 6-27-2011 8-31-41 AM 1901x2105

Monday, June 02, 2014


It is supposed to get to 109 today, but was only in the nineties when I did my weekly Rove at Tohono Chul Park. My roving partner and I had a great time. Even in the heat of summer, there is so much beauty. Here, for example, is the coral bean that greets visitors at the front gate:
coral bean 6-2-2014 8-05-32 AM 1958x1621
We saw other beautiful flowers, and a number of birds, including “the usual suspects” (Gambel’s quail, cactus wrens, white-winged doves, verdins, and Bell’s vireo, common here in the warm weather). We also saw, at the top of big nest high in an ash tree, the fuzzy white head of a baby Cooper’s hawk. We’d been wondering if the nest was active, and now we know! In addition we saw desert spiny, whiptail, and zebratail lizards, and one smallish diamondback that was waiting patiently near a mouse hole in the ground. 

At the back of the Riparian area, a trichocereus was in bloom:
June 2014 Trichos 6-2-2014 9-31-14 AM 2671x2168
In the same area we cooled off by watching one of my favorite fountains, the Pot Wall.