[Tweeters] California Quails and Clark County

Hal Michael ucd880 at comcast.net
Mon Apr 13 11:14:49 PDT 2015

Where I live here in Olympia we have one or two coveys of California Quail. They live along the railroad, in blackberries. Yet, I may only see them a few times a year. I will hear them a bit more often. They even have nested in our pasture and did spend some time at our feeders this winter (first time in 25 years). I suspect that they are present in a lot of places in rather low numbers, such as a covey or two. Outside of the calls, one might not see them for months.

Take Ridgefield as an example. With the walking trails and car route just how much of the refuge is actually visible to birders who themselves are looking for quail? If there are a couple of coveys in the blackberries on refuge side of the bridge, just how often would they actually be seen?

Hal Michael
Olympia WA
360-459-4005 (H)
360-791-7702 (C)
ucd880 at comcast.net

----- Original Message -----

Luke and Tweeters,

As someone who occasionally birds in SW Washington, I was interested in your question.

If one looks at eBird records, it would appear that California Quail is a regular, but very rare, resident of the Ridgefield NWR. There are a few records there (but very few!) every year from 2010 to 2014, plus a few older records.

Another possible explanation is that quail occasionally fly across the Columbia River from Sauvie Island in Oregon, where they are much more numerous.

There is also a small resident population of quail in Woodland Bottoms in southernmost Cowlitz County— I’ve seen them there in the past.

However, the sighting today at Steigerwald seems to be unprecedented.

A third possibility that could account for all Clark County quail records is that all of them are birds which escaped from, or were deliberately released from, captivity.

We get occasional sightings of California Quail (and Chukars!) around Vancouver, BC, where I live, and escapes from captivity are the only possible explanation in my area.

Wayne C. Weber

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu [ mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu ] On Behalf Of Luke Hanes
Sent: April-12-15 7:31 PM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Tweeters] California Quails and Clark County

Every so often (like today) someone will post a California Quail ID in Clark County.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to them suddenly appearing.

Is it just pure luck coming across them in this county?

Or do they tend to make their way through Clark at certain seasons or due to certain circumstances?

Luke Hanes

Vancouver, WA (Felida)

lukeandharmony1997 at gmail.com

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