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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

An accepted intrusion, an ornithic experience

Ornithic:  Having to, or pertaining to, birds.

We live in a decidly rural area of Clark County Nevada.  Our roads are paved but that's the extent of our development.  We love the "rural standards" here, streetlights and sidewalks are at a minimum and even very few curbs and gutters. But to the quail, rabbits, chipmunks, roadrunners, hummingbirds, doves, and the occassional coyote, we are an intrusion.  Hopefully, an accepted intrusion.
Early This morning I took my dog outside and we startled three quail that were on our patio. Quail mom and Quail dad flew onto the roof, and Quail junior fled to the open side door of our garage.  All at warp speed. The outpouring of concern from Quail mom and Quail dad was very dramatic and very loud. I have lived here for eighteen years and the quail still amuse me the most. Their actions always make them appear worried and in a profound hurry,  like they are returning an over due library book just before the doors closes.  Since Quail tend to walk very fast instead of fly they embody the word scurry. I didn't think of this before but scurry must be an amalgam of scared and hurry.....and that is how they appear to me. I can almost hear Quail mom and quail dad talking to their brood, "let's go let's go! Hurry up! Hurry up!"....and off they go, scurrying for their very lives......across the backyard, on top of the fence, down the street...scurry, hurry and faster. I have watched a whole family of quail cross the road, and then after a second, the mom runs back to get one slow little quail, as though they are in a constant fire drill. She then appears to give that little quail the what-for all the way back to the others.
I usually step away as quickly as i can when I Intrude on my wildlife friends but for some reason I wanted to watch this particular quail dilemma play out. How do they solve the problem of being separated from their children?
The Quail parents are on the roof, while junior is in the garage, running in circles. (sound familiar?) Quail children are just as neurotic as their parents which solves the nurturing versus nature question. I notice that the mom quail is on the roof looking at where junior went into the garage while dad quail is on the roof on the other side of the garage.  And they are loud!  The adult quail seem to be angry with each other as well as their offspring....I can almost hear them say, "oh what to do, what to do?"  So I reach in and hit the button to open the garage door and hope they figure it all out.  And they do, Baby quail runs out of the open door with his parents right behind him.....

As a parent I realized I have a lot in common with Quail.  I got it right then that we aren't all that different.  And why would we be?  We are all created by the same being, the same force, the one who put into us the desire to "fill the measure of our creation".

And that made me smile.


  1. Oh, that is so true. I loved this post--so well written, I could see it. How clever you are--the hurry and scared combination. And I loved the library book simile. But most of all I loved the point. You must have known I was having these feelings. My twins just went off to scout camp, and tomorrow my oldest son goes off to Vegas for a bball tournament, and in a few weeks my daughter is going off to Paris for a study abroad and when she returns she will be off on her mission. I can relate to scared and hurried.

  2. This post made me smile.


  3. Quail kids are generally well behaved. You never hear about them getting into trouble.

    Momma quails do tend be be quite worrisome.

  4. That must have been fun to watch. We have a lot of wildlife around our little house too. Possums, squirrels, hummingbirds, cats, the odd coyote, and sometimes even a stray egret from the riverbed. They never fail to entertain me.

  5. Interesting blog! Roof installation must be in a way you that could live as long as you want. Roof Repair CT gives the real strength to your roof.