Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gambel's Quail

These Quail are well established in Arizona, and are among the few birds that often take their young out into the open. They closely resemble the California Quail, but don't have the scaled effect on their flanks and belly. The chicks remind me of velociraptors, and are possibly the cutest birds in all of North America.


The publicity agent for ducks, the Mallard is a finely colored specimen and a romantic. However, Mallard's can also cross-breed with a variety of foreign, introduced or escaped ducks, in addition to some other American ducks and even some of the smaller geese. These moments of confused passion result in the mottled or manky mallards often seen in city parks and the like. This is one of the few species with which I find the female birds to be prettier than the males.