Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Bird that Stole My Heart

Gambel's Quail (male) on our block fence

So you may be wondering how my love for birds began.  Come on, humor me okay? 

Living in Arizona, particularly the desert regions of the southwest, the Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii) are practically everywhere.  They are literally throughout many neighborhoods and can be seen on rooftops, block fences, yards, trees, and in other habitats.  While driving through neighborhoods we're always cautious of this as they cross the street one by one - and we always stop for them and other wildlife.

One thing that stands out in my mind of how I fell in love with this gorgeous bird is their bond for one another as they mate for life.  The male reminds me of a gentlemen, like my hubby actually.  The male stands guard and protects his mate and young.  It is undeniably beautiful to watch. 

Anyway, a few years ago I bought a quail seed block and put it in the backyard.  That not only brought more quail, but also several other birds.  So I bought a bird feeder and, well, goes without saying but our backyard soon became a little bird sanctuary.

Mr. & Mrs. Gambel's Quail and a peek-a-boo Mourning Dove

One day I looked out back to see a covey of quail (covey is a flock of 20 or more - we've had over 25 at one time!) boy was that ever exciting.  Then there was the day I'll never forget... adorable tiny baby quails in our backyard!  Oh my goodness, I fell in love all over again!  From that day forward, I began watching all the birds that came into our backyard, bought a Bird of Arizona Field Guide book and it grew from there.

Even though I've loved the Gambel's Quail for as long as I can remember, and see them on a daily basis, I still get a warm fuzzy feeling as if it were the first time.  Kind of makes me giddy actually.

Peace and happy birding!

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