A Visit from a California Valley Quail

The Majestic California Quail

The Majestic California Quail

A few days ago a bird perched on the back fence looking rather regal.  I thought it might fly away, but it didn’t.  It caught my attention and I hunted for my binoculars to get a better look.  I recognized that it was a quail by its plume.  It stood like it was protecting the yard.  Its face looked like it was dressed in a medieval armor helmet with the visor lowered.  The white coloring is quite stunning on the male bird.  He was indeed protecting his family of young quails as they munched on whatever seed they were finding in the grass.  The shrubbery nearby offered an escape path for them to flutter to, if necessary.

The family fed for almost 30 minutes. The adult male stayed positioned on the corner stone fence post.  I felt I had an armed guard keeping watch over the property.  Its “yellow” breast covering looked orange in on this particular bird.  It seemed to be soaking in the sun as it stood guard. Eventually the family scuttled off into the chaparral.

I looked up online the fact this this bird is the official state bird of California. It’s easy to see why.  The beauty and pose and regal nature make it a lovely state bird.  The California Quail is also known as the California Partridge, Catalina Quail, Topknot Quail, and Valley Quail.  The California Quail is smaller than a pigeon, but larger than a dove.  It tends toward robust sizing.

How can it be that I have never seen a California Valey Quail till now? The bird is dressed in such exquisite detail. It continues to be welcome in our yard, even though it visits infrequently.  Long live the California Quail!


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