Color and the California Quail

by Bryce W. Robinson

Female California Quail- Callipepla californica

At times I am fortunate enough to work outside of the desert. Today I was able to head west to the chaparral hills of southern California to check some nests. It was an overcast day, which I have not experienced for months. I was glad to see little sun and enjoy the cool temperatures.

The birds of course were different than the now normal species I see in the desert. In the desert there are Gambel’s Quail, but once you climb out of the desert, the niche is filled by the California Quail. I saw many today, and was able to photograph one female sitting still on some dead and bare branches. I couldn’t help but notice the dull color scheme of the photo. With relatively low light, it seemed the scenes of the day were all very mellow. This photograph captures that mood precisely, gloomy but beautiful. I am often in awe at these type of images. Nature is master of color schemes only the most accomplished of artists know how to manage.

I watched a Bushtit nest for a while today. There were a number of Bushtit moving around through the brush, occasionally stopping to wonder at me. I was unfortunately unsuccessful at capturing any worthwhile images of these birds, but it truly was a joy to watch their busy purposeful activities.

Here’s to another week of paid birding.