Gambel’s Quail

There are several things my Mom and I like to see and do when we visit Arizona, and one of those things is seeing a Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii). We usually hear their familiar call before we see them; the male warning the female and babies to run for cover because those blasted humans are nearby again. Here’s one of the males we saw in 2005:
DBG03182005 029-1

We usually see them on the ground in the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ. This same year we saw a family of quail – the female and babies running for cover, but do you think I could get the camera going fast enough to catch those cute little babies? No. Sorry. Believe me, I wish I did, because they were so cute!

Last year we heard a Gambel’s Quail, but this time we heard it calling from a tree:

There were very loud and obnoxious people running through the gardens, and this quail was very unhappy with them. We got far away from those people ourselves while I stood far away taking photos of the quail. The next photo is fuzzy, but it shows his topknot:

I hate it when ignorant people don’t know what they’re doing to the wildlife by being obnoxious.

With the temperature here way below freezing and it snowing like crazy, I’ve been thinking about Arizona and Gambel’s Quail today. I can’t wait to see them again, the babies I saw in recent years all grown up now. There’s lots of other wildlife in this garden, but I’ll save that for another day!


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mon@rch
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 19:22:16

    such an amazing post and I love your photos! This is a species that I hope to see one day!


  2. Pam
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 19:47:53

    Thanks Mon@rch! Gambel’s Quail are so much fun to watch, except for this one that was under stress. I wanted to pummel those people for being obnoxious. I hope you get the pleasure of seeing Gambel’s Quail in action soon!


  3. Mary
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 21:17:55

    Gee, what are the chances I’d see one here? Probably none. That’s a beautiful bird, Pam. Isn’t it dreadful when you fumble with the camera and lose a shot? Keep those photos coming while the snow builds up.


  4. Susan Gets Native
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 22:13:07

    Well, you are definitely up one on me with the Gambel’s. The only way I will see a Gambel’s in Ohio is if someone has one as a pet. (and that wouldn’t count)

    Next time the plow guy comes around, stand right where he pushes all the snow up to the house, and glower at him.


  5. Pam
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 22:29:14

    Mary – Yeah, a visit to the southwest and you’d probably see one. I love this bird – I love it that the male protects his family so well. Oh, if I had a point and shoot camera and kept it on all of the time I wouldn’t miss those prize shots. This year my Mom has a point and shoot camera so they’ll be two cameras clicking away at everything we see – and she takes great photos. Hopefully she’ll capture what I don’t.

    Susan – Only because I go to the southwest. I swear I think I have more lifers out of my area than in my own area!
    I think plowboy got the hint! I removed all of the snow from my home yesterday, and I threw it away from my home into the middle of the driveway before he came to plow this morning, so he only left a little trail of snow which was easy to shove to the other side.


  6. Swami
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 12:47:31

    Interesting bird. With that head dress, the quail in your post is obviously a member of the quail honor guard.


  7. Pam
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 14:33:27

    Swami – LOL that’s good! When he walks that head dress wiggles all around – it looks too funny!


  8. Laura
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 21:52:38

    I love these birds – so handsome!


  9. Pam
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 22:41:59

    Laura – I love them, too! I love it when they walk, their topknot really wiggles.


  10. Lynne at Hasty Brook
    Jan 28, 2007 @ 18:35:14

    Cool quail!! We’re going to Phoenix over spring break in April. I can’t wait to see the birds! I’ve been looking at bird field guides for Arizona on line. I’d like to get one before we go. Any suggestions?


  11. Pam
    Jan 28, 2007 @ 18:40:29

    Lynne – OMG!! That’s excellent. Let me go through my books and I’ll get back to you. They’re packed in a big bin since I don’t have a need to use them that often.
    Is this the first time you’re going? Are you going for fun? What are you planning on doing there? I highly recommend the Desert Botanical Garden as a good place to start!


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