Friday, July 31, 2009
Growing up, I knew this bird as "a Quail". Since there's only one type of quail in Alabama, there's no confusion. I also heard them called Bobwhites, and some people put both together: Bobwhite quail. The standard name is Northern Bobwhite, but you'll be considered an egghead if you go around calling it that.
Our place was so manicured when we first moved here, that we never heard Bobwhites. A few years of "the natural look" was more to their liking, and now it's not unusual to hear them singing. It never fails to make me a little happier, every time I hear one.
Yesterday my husband discovered one walking down our driveway. Between a fogged lens and zero cover between us and the quail, I never thought to get a photo, let alone one this close. But this bedraggled individual seemed almost as curious about us as we were about him, allowing us closer than almost any wild bird I've ever encountered. He wasn't stupid though - he walked off into the brush just as we reached him.
Bobwhites are in decline, and I suspect that their numbers here are probably hurt by the huge increase in armadillos in recent years. (They're ground-nesting birds.)
Click here to hear a Bobwhite calling. We got close enough yesterday to hear an endearing little quiet chirping noise that he was making.
Visit the Friday Ark.