California Quail and the Raptors.

Heavy fog and high humidity helped extinguish our local wildfires; they will have to be reckoned with in August. Our wind remains, it was 25mph today and 61º F. early this morning, the wind makes it cooler than the real temperature. I was out there any way the fresh air first thing in the morning along with water and a cup of coffee sets me up for the day.

I took this photo on January 11, 2022, I’ve had the opportunity to take quite a few from January through March. The Quail then went back into the under growth. These are skittish birds only flying short distances they run more than fly. They were attracted to the Sunflower seeds I toss out on the ground. They are not the only ones as those seeds attracted all of the midsize birds; and those guys are mean to one another.

The image above was taken about one month ago, they peck around in the dry weeds for the seeds they shed. I don’t use a bird feeder I am unable to make sense of them. Birds have been feeding from the ground for perhaps millions of years and suddenly they need a feeder? I think the only reason to use one is if one lives in a moist, wet and rainy climate which I don’t. If it’s wet I think the seeds are prone to mold, mildew and they just may germinate.

The Hawk is one of their concerns and this guy is on the hunt. Luckily for the Quail this was taken several weeks after they visited the slough. I was the witness to an attack by the Hawk. I was sitting in my chair on the porch just seeing what I could see. On the houseboat next door were several birds about the size of a Dove, in fact they could have been Doves I don’t remember. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a streak racing across the sky in front of me, less than a second later a big explosion of feathers filled the air around the birds. One was gone and the others didn’t seem to notice most likely because it was so fast.

This picture was taken a few months ago right after I declared I would no longer take pictures of critters on top of old power poles; yep it worked out just about the way all of my proclamations do. But this is not the same bird as in the attack I believe that was a Coopers Hawk as he was small and quick.

This image is a Coopers Hawk they are much smaller than the Red Tailed Hawks. But it can be confusing because the females are larger than the males sometimes the males are the same size as the Red Tailed males. Some days they are all over the sky and other times they are no where to be seen. We are in a slight doldrum here lately, not for variety but for numbers. Lately I have seen several species of Hawks, Falcons and birds of prey. I wait for quite a while for the critters to zoom past; they will perch but I must be very stealthy in my scooter not to spook them. The Quail are a bit too heavy for the Chicken Hawk or any animal that is close to or as big as them. I witnessed a large (female) Red Tail dive after a Rabbit within 30 feet of me. The raptor misjudged, passed over the Rabbit and smacked into a wood fence. Dazed he backed up and staggered around long enough for the Rabbits to race under the fence and back to their den. We, at least I, have the unsupported belief wild animas have this uncanny ability to always be co-ordinated. I have gound they are at least as clumsy as I am.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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