California Quail in Strong Backlight; Point Reyes National Seashore

Photo of a male california quail.

Overseeing His Covey

I liked the lichen-covered post this guy hopped up on at the Pierce Point Ranch parking lot.  I didn’t like the fact that I had to shoot into the sun though.  That made for some tough backlighting.

I don’t know why male California quail always like to be perched on something above the ground while the rest of the covey remains on the ground.  I’ve never seen a female on a post.  Maybe the males do it to protect the females and young.  That way they’re in a position to see anything dangerous approaching and can let out a warning call in time to save the others.  Maybe they like being in a high place because it’s safest for them.  I’d like to think it’s the former.


About Jim Coda

I am a nature photographer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in photos of birds, mammals, and landscapes.
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2 Responses to California Quail in Strong Backlight; Point Reyes National Seashore

  1. Pat Ulrich says:

    Lovely shot, Jim! The Pierce Point Ranch area is one of my favorites for finding quail. Interesting thoughts about the males on high perches — I’ve always assumed it was to keep at eye on the group (either for predators or to put themselves in position to attract females), but I suppose it could really be less noble, and that they feel safer up there.

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