Quail in search of love

by cheri sabraw

As March approaches, each adult Gambel‘s quail begins the vital hunt for the precise mate. Not any quail will suffice.

As you can see, a physical inspection takes place clandestinely when the female has taken her eyes off her prospective suitor. In this case, he appears to fancy what he sees. Not only is she plump in the all the right places, but her work ethic merits note.


Part of the date is a meal out. Do they enjoy the same bit of insect or vegetation (or cracker)? They peck at the patio for tidbits. He lowers his coppery head to doff his topknot and  she uses that moment to to inspect his nails in a furtive glance. How her potential mate attends to his hygiene is crucial and judging from his pewter feathers–arranged in magnificent order–this guy might be the one.


And then, well, the chatter extends to their individuality. Although a profile reveals a matching symmetry, she makes it clear that each must be his or her  own quail. No unhealthy clinging, meddling, or bickering will be tolerated in this relationship. Communication ( Chi-ca-go! Chi-ca-go!) is a must and intimacy in the nest desired.


And just when the deal is about to be consummated, a gorgeous pheasant pair, albeit quiet and snobby, appear by a copper pot to sideline his thoughts. Who are these people?


About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in My photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Quail in search of love

  1. shoreacres says:

    Your photos of these beautiful birds are just stunning. I enjoyed the dialog, but I kept getting distracted by the birds themselves. I just can’t get enough of looking at them. The relationships between and among birds are complex, and wonderful to witness. I’m glad you captured this for us. The series truly is a glimpse into another, albeit recognizable, world.

  2. Cheri says:

    Thank you, Linda. The Gambel’s quail lives primarily in the Sonoran Desert. I took these photographs from our patio in AZ. Here in Northern California, our little California quail are a bit different and not as friendly. (Typical Californians…) 🙂

  3. Richard says:

    Courage in Search of Love

    In through the door she came
    And glanced around the room.
    Should I greet her, all the same?
    Fair lady – faint heart – doom?

    Success! She smiled and said “Hallo!
    I’m new here, are you too?”
    “Well, no, but I’m about to go”
    “No, stay, I don’t know who is who.”

    So time flew by as eye to eye
    We spoke of all and naught.
    “You go! You’re late! And I must fly!”
    A put-down! Just mere sport?

    This cannot rest. I’ll go the mile:
    “I liked to talk. Again, maybe?”
    Those lowered eyes. But then a smile.
    “Why not? Yes, I agree!”

    Thus passed a Spring and Summer long
    With ventured touch and meeting lips
    For all was right and nothing wrong.
    Intoxicate by gentle sips!

    “Forever true I’ll be to you,
    This ring I offer now.”
    Will she say “Yes” and then “I do”?
    A chill. A thrill – “I vow!”

    And dotage thus has its reward
    For youthful courage set –
    A life of love and some accord,
    A heaven since we met.

  4. Cheri says:

    What a charming tale of love!
    The poet is a young romantic, no?
    You Englishmen have such a way with words….

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