Friday, July 1, 2005

California Quail

California Quail (callipepla californica) are one of the delights of living out in the chapparal. We encourage these beautiful birds with cracked corn; rather large quantities of it, as a matter of fact. As a direct consequence of the corn (and a nearby waterer), we have dozens — maybe hundreds — of quail who include our yard as part of their daily routine. They've grown quite accustomed to us, usually ignoring us when we're at the window as little as 10 feet away, even when we open the window to see them more clearly. And sometimes, when we walk outside, they don't flee until we're a few short feet away from them.

In the picture is an adult male, caught in very early morning light. He was standing about 15 feet from me as I shot this, using a stabliized 1280mm lens, handheld, with ASA 800 and 1/60th second. The picture on the right caught him with his eye closed purely accidentally; I just thought it gave him a cute expression (if you'll forgive the anthropomorphism).

Click on the photos for a larger view.

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