November California Quail In Northern Utah

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Male California Quail on a fence post, Davis County, UtahMale California Quail on a fence post – Nikon D500, f10, 1/1000, ISO 800, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I think that both male and female California Quail are striking birds with their head plumes, facial feather patterns, earth toned plumage and scaled underparts so whenever I see them I want to photograph them. I had an opportunity to take photos of a small flock of these quail yesterday and even though they were on an orange toned fence I couldn’t resist firing away.

California Quail male on a gate, Davis County, UtahCalifornia Quail male on a gate – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1600, ISO 800, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

There were several males within the flock and I focused on them for a bit, trying to isolate single birds wasn’t easy because of how close they were to each other and how near I was to the birds.

Fluffed up female and male California Quail, Davis County, UtahFluffed up female and male California Quail – Nikon D500, f13, 1/640, ISO 800, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I wish I had been either a bit further away or that I had taken off my teleconverter while trying to take photos of two or more birds because of depth of field, even at f13 to f16 there were times when I couldn’t get more than one bird totally in focus.  In this photo the male wasn’t nearly as sharply in focus as the female even at f13 but I liked this photo despite that. The female is on the left, the male is on the right in this photo.

Hen California Quail walking on a fence rail, Davis County, UtahHen California Quail walking on a fence rail – Nikon D500, f13, 1/800, ISO 800, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

When the California Quail hen finally left the side of the male she walked along the fence rail and gate towards the south and at one point she looked like she might fly up into a tree next to the fence.

California Quail hen on a fence, Davis County, UtahCalifornia Quail hen on a fence – Nikon D500, f11, 1/1600, ISO 800, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

But she turned around, perched on the gate for a few seconds and then flew to the ground behind the fence and out of my sight.

Male California Quail on a fence rail, Davis County, UtahMale California Quail on a fence rail – Nikon D500, f11, 1/800, ISO 800, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Soon there was only a single male quail left on the fence and I focused on him before he also took off and disappeared behind the fence.

I’m not overly fond of the orange tones of the fence in these photos but this is where these quail decided to be and I wasn’t about to pass on the chance to photograph them.

Life is good.

Mia

10 Comments

  1. Corine November 21, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Mia,

    I think the orange tones highlight the details/colors of the plumage and facial markings. Lovely! Thanks!

  2. Pepe Forte November 21, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Holy Cow! What a magnificent series of pics! The rich color and detail you captured is simply wonderful. I can’t wait to share these images with family and friends tomorrow. Thanks Mia.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Bob Mcpherson November 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Superb

  4. Patty Chadwick November 21, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    I am totally convinced that the Walt Disney Studio created these birds!!! Theyvare too darned cute to be real….

    • Mia McPherson November 21, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      Patty, actually they have been in Disney movies, one that many people will recall was the movie Bambi!

  5. sue Johnson November 21, 2018 at 11:26 am

    I’m a CA birder. It’s been easy for me to take these quail for granted and not really look at them. Your photos are so beautiful and detailed! This is a whole new experience of seeing CA quail. Now,I’ll certainly pay more attention to them out in the field!
    Thank you, Mia! Beautiful birds…Beautiful photos!

  6. Elephants Child November 21, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Absolute charmers. Thank you.

  7. Liz Cormack November 21, 2018 at 8:23 am

    What orange tones of the fence? I had to go back to the photos at your mention of that. The salmon-y background is a wonderful backdrop for these beautiful birds. The fence just sort of blends into the background.

  8. Glen Fox November 21, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Wonderfully detailed images of spectacular birds Mia. Thank you!

  9. Grace Cohen November 21, 2018 at 5:59 am

    How nice to see so many fine photos of the lovely California Quails, Mia. You have provided ample educational opportunities here for us to study these birds and their markings more closely. Thanks for sharing!

Comments are closed.