Friday, March 28, 2014

The quail that tried to cross the road

 Without knowing why the quail tried to cross the road, all we can say is that it DID reach the other side. Just not the other side of the road.

Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata) is our default quail in Brewster County, and much of the Trans Pecos. It is also called blue quail, cottontop, squail and... nature's nachos. Those last two aren't commonly used, but are still rather fitting!

This one was obviously not on a deer corn bag when found, but Highway 90 just east of the bridge near 67 isn't a spot with great visibility for a portrait session in situ.

The breast and belly are dusty-buffy in bright light.
Bleu-gray tones got washed out a bit here, sadly.
There's the blue!
This individual has a pronounced crest, so it may be male. But it has a dark auricular patch (ear patch) so it could be female. Further details pending, if we can find streaking on the throat.

Check out the sweet 'speed fin' them their 'cottontop' name: for a diagram of what and where a speed fin is, see Bird and Moon's diagram.

Increasingly blurred barring on the belly, vs. crisp scaled breast feathers.

Scaled Quail... get it?

I was surprised to see the non-homogenous wing and mantle: the olive tones are really too subtle to see in the field.

A bird in the hand is educational, for sure - you never know what you'll learn!

** We have state and federal permits to salvage roadkill.

1 comment:

  1. Grisly and gripping. The best looks I've ever had for sure, even second-hand and all!

    This ranks high on the Righteous Roadkill...Scale