Earlier this morning, as I was driving back home from a meeting, I came across a brood of about ten California Quail crossing a divided four lane road near my house. They were heading across my lanes and into the low bushes of the divide between the roads. This is one of the great things about where I live in the Bay Area, an abundance of wildlife right in my backyard.
Since they were determined to make it across, I pulled into the middle of the two lanes and stopped traffic until they were across; Ignoring the honking from the cars behind me. Once the entire brood was safely in the bushes, we all continued on our way. I only hope they were as successful crossing the other lane of traffic.
I encountered the same thing a few years ago leaving my neighborhood. I literally pulled out of my driveway and was stopped short by a smaller brood of Quail crossing the road. As I was on my way out to meet another photographer for an evening photo session, I pulled over to grab some photos.
I think my presence spooked this Quail chick as he couldn’t seem to hop up over the curb. No matter how much Dad encouraged him. Being only a few inches high, it’s amazing the California Quail Chicks are actually able to hop up over that curb!
Eventually the entire brood came out of the bushes and headed back across the road to where they just came from.
Only to have the same chick again run into that large wall we call a curb. After a few minutes of struggling and encouragement from Mom he finally hopped up and they were gone into the bushes.
This is a gentle reminder that we don’t always have to travel to far away and remote locations to capture wildlife in their native habitat. Just realize how much wildlife habitats right around you.
You can see more of my Backyard Wildlife in the Archive where you can purchase prints and stock licensing rights to all my photography.