Friday, August 31, 2012

California Quail

I hadn't been to Fernhill Wetlands since May 28 before this past Sunday. Reports have been that Clean Water Services has been draining Fernhill Lake providing some extensive habitat for shorebirds. While this is certainly true, most of the shorebirds were well out of range of my lens.  The best shorebird species I saw where five Red-necked Phalaropes.
Oddly enough, my closest encounter with a bird that day was this female California Quail. I saw it perched atop this cyclone fence from quite a distance, not realizing what it was until I moved in closer.
It seemed oddly tolerant of me as California Quails typically scurry off into the tall grasses when seen. It just sat there and watched me as I slowly moved in closer. It wasn't until a large covey of Quail that had been laying low all around me startled that it finally began to show any concern. Soon there were Quail scampering everywhere.

I assumed it was a juvenile since it was so calm and appeared a bit small.

But looking at these images, it appears to have fairly worn feathers, especially in its tail region. That leads me to believe that this is an adult female. Let me know if you disagree.

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