Natural Sightings: Keeping an eye out for danger – Tehachapi News


A mix of clouds and sun with gusty winds. High 44F. Winds NW at 25 to 35 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph..
Windy with clear skies. Low 27F. Winds WNW at 20 to 30 mph.
Updated: April 12, 2022 @ 5:07 am
Adult California Quail, particularly the males, often position themselves on a prominent point.

Adult California Quail, particularly the males, often position themselves on a prominent point.
Bobby Wood took this photo of a male California Quail (Callipepla californica) as it maintained a lookout on a rocky berm. Adult California Quail, particularly the males, often position themselves on a prominent point like a fence post, the top of a brush pile, boulder or fallen log and watch for potential threats to their family or covey.
Covey is the name for a cohesive flock of California Quail. These typically form in the late summer or fall, and often consist of the offspring of one or several quail pairs. In the Tehachapi Mountains, these are typically 12 to 20 birds. In the winter, these smaller coveys may merge to form large coveys of as many as 30 to 80 birds or more.
In the spring, the birds separate into pairs to begin another year’s nesting. Once the first clutch is hatched and at least some of the chicks survive the many perils of being a young game bird in a world with lots of predators and other threats, they and their parents form the nucleus of a new covey.
If the parents successfully double clutch and raise more chicks, these too will join the nacent covey, growing in numbers as the year progresses. Dangers alway lurk, though, and their survival is a day-to-day effort to avoid predators while foraging for seeds and other edibles.
Little California Quail roosters can often be seen maintaining their vigil, watching over their family and providing warning when threats are detected.
The Nuwä (Kawaiisu or Southern Paiute) name for California Quail is taara, pronounced TAH-rrrah, with the r’s rolled to imitate the whirring of a quail’s wingbeats.
NATURAL SIGHTINGS is a regular feature of the Tehachapi News edited by Jon Hammond which showcases photos of the natural beauty that enhances the quality of life in Tehachapi. If you have a good quality image of plants, animals, insects, trees, birds, weather phenomena, etc., taken in the Tehachapi area, you may submit it to the Tehachapi News for possible publication. Submissions can be dropped by the News office in the form of a print or CD, or sent by email to: editorial@tehachapinews.com.
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