Part 2. Quail Family Tidings continued from Part 1…When the pistache was about 15 feet tall, Don went out one spring day to cut the wires. He was pulling it apart when in an explosion of wild sweet peas, dry grass, and weeds, a plump bird burst forth from its cover and flew up into the nearby oak tree. Don jumped back. A female California quail sat fluffed on a limb, calling ‘whit-whit-whit,’ roundly scolding him. Don had scared her off a nest in the grass. Slowly and carefully he parted the sweet pea vines to find the nest with five eggs in it. Just as carefully he covered it all back up and retired from the scene.
A couple of days later we discovered that the eggs had hatched. We looked around for baby birds, downy, little fuzz balls on legs, but didn’t find them until the day we surprised the quail family crossing the road. The covey had grown to twice the number. Two sets of quail parents had teamed up to raise their families together.
Quail are common in the foothills which are home to oak forest and chaparral, plenty of grasses, and lots of wildflowers in the spring. Quail eat mostly seeds, buds, berries, and insects.
Surely these delicate creatures are one of God’s amazing wonders of nature. In subsequent days we saw them secretively rustling through the yard, hidden from view except for disturbing the spring grass as they followed Mama, pecking at everything in sight. It still makes us smile, and to once again thank the good Lord for his amazing creation. Thanks and praise, thanks and praise!