Archive for July, 2011

Quail Update

After I disturbed a quail on her nest in the walled garden in back of my house, I kept the gate closed for three weeks, which I learned was the typical incubation period for quail chicks. This morning I crept in, anxious about what I might find. I eased back a branch of thimbleberry, and cautiously lifted the thatch of dry blue-eyed grass. I glimpsed the rounded shape of an egg. Oh no, had the nest been abandoned? I looked closer. There were empty eggshells aplenty, neatly halved and stacked together in the grass-lined bowl of the nest. Eight or nine chicks have hatched and headed out into the big world. I’ve not yet seen them, though I’ve heard parental burblings from the bush-covered hill above the wall. Bon aventure, little ones.

I also had a chance to study the eggshells more closely, and realize I was mistaken in their color. They have a bluish cast, but the color is more of a creamy tan, speckled with brown blotches.

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