Monday, April 5, 2010

Elusive birds

While Nathan and I walked the canyon the other day to push out any stray cattle, we flushed a pair of mountain quail. There are several pairs that nest in the canyons but this was the first time they didn't flush away from us and let us watch them for a little while. They hid among the thicket so it was very difficult to get any decent photos but usually I go to unzip the camera bag and they are gone so poor photos are better than no photos. One of these days I will get a great shot; it is on my list of life achievements.

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Hiding in the brush

They are very pretty birds with rusty red undertones and a straight plume of feathers on their head (which of course is not visible in the photo). Unlike the California quail which are very prolific (especially around the house), the mountain quail populations have declined in much of Eastern Oregon so it is kind of cool and special to know that they make their home out here on the ranch.

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