Saturday, August 18, 2012

Blooming Babies

It's the time of year again when baby quail are running about, and I'm thrilled to have a family of California quail that regularly visits the yard. We saw the chicks when they may only have been hatched for a few hours, but it's as they get just a little older that their cuteness really comes out. They explore the entire yard, foraging in bushes and checking out the neighbors' flowers and plants. Of course, many of the blooms at this time of summer can be bigger than the birds!

The family has been back a few times and continues to visit my various feeding areas in search of seed. There are five chicks this year, tended by four parents - presumably the mated pair, plus a pair of surrogate uncles. All the adults diligently watch the chicks, and one of the males is inevitably standing guard as the rest of the flock forages. As yet, the chicks are a bit too small to come up on the deck for the bounty of platform feeders, but they are happy to forage under the deck (there's plenty of space) for spilled seed, and they've discovered where I put seed in the bushes as well.

It's always wonderful to have these chicks explore the yard, and I look forward to a future filled with quail!

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