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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quail Chronicles Day 8

Today Maurice has been pacing along the wall enclosing our back yard. He was joined by a female this morning and it seemed that maybe some hanky-panky was happening...the female then dropped down to one of the flower beds and began plucking at some weeds. We watched her for some time, wondering if she was making a nest! then I went on line to find out if Gambel's Quail are monogamous--is Maurice stepping out on his other wife? According to the articles I read, they are monogamous when raising young...so, I'm very confused as to what exactly is happening in our back yard!

As I mentioned, I won't disturb the other nesting bird, but is she still there? I haven't seen her at all and the baby I rescued did not seem very healthy, to put it mildly. Is this other female just the first one starting over, or is Maurice a gigolo? I hung some laundry out on the  line after deciding that they will have to get used to at least some activity in the yard. But when Buddha bounded out I told him NO and grabbed his collar...having a dog sniffing around is just too much for any bird to tolerate.

Incubation time is between 21 and 24 days and, according to the article, the babies are able to walk around after only a few hours--this seems amazing after the condition of the little fella, but the article also mentioned that other birds will share nests with quail--could he have been another species?

On another note--I've noticed a face in the mountain in the early morning light--I've decided that she is the goddess of the mountain since she looks somewhat crone-like with what looks like a hood flowing from the back of her head downward--she faces east. In the evening light a sleeping dog appears--Jim says god in the morning, dog at night...must find my camera...phone is not adequate for the job.

Addendum to the addendum...seven baby quail in the backyard guarded by Maurice and Mom...only one small problem...when she took them from the nest and jumped down two feet she didn't think through the fact that they can't fly and so they are stuck in the yard! I put up a piece of cardboard box ( of which we have many) so they could climb back up to the beds, but instead she took them underneath where it looks like they're nesting for the night....Maurice was a wreck, so tired that I think he may have fallen asleep on his feet and fallen down behind the wall...no sign of him.


  1. The picture of that mountain looks wonderfully exotic and mysterious, like it would contain the hideout of Ali Baba. I can easily picture a stone fortress on the peak. I think I'm ready for a vacation.

  2. come on out before it gets too hot! this is a magical place...

  3. Samantha Smith
    Is that really a picture of the mountains? Wow, they look beautiful. Hope you get the quail situation sorted out. I guess 3 weeks is do-able. Caesar caught a Junko in our yard yesterday, poor little thing. We need a bigger bell!

    1. yup--that's the mountain--can't wait for you to visit! sorry to hear about the Junko--bad Caesar!

  4. Must be incredible to live beside that! I can see why you were drawn there. Kudos to you for taking such care with the creatures in your yard.