Male 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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.