Quail Interludes 1

11 09 2008

As I ruminate, perhaps write up a paper/review and maybe analyze some vocalization of molecular quail data, I will periodically post blogs here on quail (though not as frequently as before: my goal is 2 posts a week). This new series will be called Quail interludes–because they cover the interlude between my time with the quail. Also, when my box comes, with the remains from the fire, etc, (it has been waylaid for a bit by strange forces) I will also transcribe more of the mysterious notebook for you. You will be intrigued or saddened by the reference to the baby.

For this first Interlude I want to show you a picture:

Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles © California Academy of Sciences

Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles © California Academy of Sciences

I did not take this picture. I found it on an incredible resource: CalPhotos, which is a repository of more than 180,000 photos of plants, animals, fossils, etc.

I am drawn to this photo because this male is clearly incubating a nest. Finding any California quail sitting on a nest is an impressive feat, especially if one is searching without a radio-tracking device or a dog. These birds are expert at making a nest in the middle of a field invisible. Furthermore, all studies that have located nests tend to discover females incubating. Periodically males do incubate, but is rare. Isn’t this male sweet and alert?

I seem to have crawled out of my fog. Tomorrow I will be talking about quail to my daughter’s preschool class. She apparently told the kids there that we put rings on quail legs and gave them a checkup and her teacher thought it might be fun for me to explain what we were doing.

I may order up some microsatellite primers so that I can genotype the individuals that we trapped and look for any little patterns and set up a system for typing samples I collect down the line. (I am hoping to make our next trip sometime in November or December).

The quail are out there. Have you seen them lately?




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