Monthly Archives: June 2011
Every year I await the arrival of Gambel’s Quail chicks with a great deal of anticipation. The problem with photographing quail chicks is that they run very fast, and they hide very well. I was fortunate to see a quail family running across the road late last week when I was on my way to work.
Please note that the photos in this post are not very sharp as I stayed well away from the quail to keep from alarming the parents and frightening the chicks.
Dad Quail stood watch from a Four-wing Saltbush while Mom Quail led the chicks across the road.
Using my vehicle as a blind, I watched the chicks as they scurried for cover after crossing the road.
All of the chicks crossed the road, and Mom Gambel’s Quail herded the last of the chicks to safety.
I tried to get a close-up photo of one of the chicks. This slightly fuzzy photo of a fuzzy quail chick was the best that I could manage:
On Sunday I was excited to see that an entire Gambel’s Quail family had stopped for lunch in my garden. I do not know if it was the same family, but it was a very large family. Dad Quail watched while Mom quail and the chicks ate …
… then Mom Quail watched while Dad Quail ate and the chicks continued to eat.
Everyone took a final bite or two, and the quail family prepared to leave.
The family left along the garden wall, which we call the “Quail Highway.”
This past Saturday afternoon I met some friends for pizza and beer on the east side of the Sandia mountains. It’s fun to spend time with friends whom you have originally met online and later meet in person. These friends–Rich, Gin, Marlita, Eric and Wendy–are even nicer and more fun in person than they are online. After we finished our lunch, Rich and Gin invited us to their lovely place in a rural residential area. Their garden area reminded me of the birding venues in Arizona where people open their homes to birders and allow them to sit in their yards and gardens to photograph birds. The major attraction for me was a large gourd containing a White-breasted Nuthatch nest.
Both parents were very diligent in attending to the nest. We could hear that there were chicks in the nest, but we were not able to see into the gourd. We were really anxious to get a look at the chicks.
A Western Wood-Pewee watched from a nearby tree.
For the first time we get a glimpse of one of the chicks.
This tiny, still-blind, chick was not ready for the parent to leave, and noisily demanded more food.
It called for the parents while they hunted …
… and was joined by a second chick.
What good nuthatch parents!
I hope I can go back to take more photos when the chicks are a bit bigger!