[Tweeters] Baby Mountain Quail

mary hrudkaj mch1096 at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 16 15:39:24 PDT 2019


Coming home just now I saw an adult quail across from my driveway. It moved cautiously into the darkness of the trees on the south side of the dirt road on the south side of my place. It looked like little leaves following in the adult's wake but then the leaves scattered taking multiple routes after the adult. Then I realized I was seeing baby Mountain Quail. Of course there was one laggard but it caught up with the rest as I waited in the road for the show to be over.

I knew the quail were nesting as about 10 days ago I began seeing only one adult feeding at a time. From past observations the adults take turns with the brooding and later the 'shepherding' of the little ones for a few days. I've also been hearing an unusual call on the north side of my place in the early eveing, possibly a 'honey it's my turn to watch the eggs, you go eat' discussion. I couldn't get an accurate count because it didn't dawn on me there'd be babies already. Best guess right now would be from 6 to 9 tiny fluff balls of quail. A fellow resident of our subdivision and bird watcher called me Sat. afternoon to let me know his wife had found a quail's nest in their yard but left not waiting to count eggs as the mother was nearby and not happy.

It's good to see the nests are well hidden as we've had two instances of bear activity around people and houses in the past few days. One gal came home to find a broken picture window, called neighbors who came and checked the house for her and found all the cat food eaten. A call to Fish & Wildlife got a trap set up but so far no takers. Another younger gentleman bear where I live had left an ice chest, with food in it, outside his trailer and found a bear helping itself to the food Friday morning. Maybe the quail are too small and quick to make even a snack.

Mary Hrudkaj
Belfair/Tahuya

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