California Quail (Callipepla californica) / 24.12.15

The California Quail (Callipepla californica) is a bird I really wanted to see while in California, even though I had not plan to go to a particular place just to spot it. It is the state bird of California.

That morning, I went to Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park with my brother in law to watch the sunrise looking at the Pacific Ocean. We were chatting when suddenly I heard this helicopter like sound behind me. I looked back and saw this flock flying by and landing in the bushes only 50-60 feet from us. It was still quite dark and as I had never seen California Quails (Callipepla californica) before, I was not 100% sure of what it was. I walked very slowly and quietly towards where I saw them land, and after a few steps only, I saw them on a narrow path between shrubs. Exactly as you can see it on the picture above. There was about 10 individuals in this covey but you can see only 3 individuals here, including a stunning male in the middle. You can easily recognize the male thanks to its black throat and black topknot (brown in females). This beautiful head plume is made of six feathers. California Quails (Callipepla californica) spent most of their time on the floor, feeding on insects and vegetation.

It was the perfect addition to this already awesome family time spent in nature.

Finally, I am sharing this great video by Peter Steuart so you can appreciate better the beauty of this bird.

Laguna Niguel, United States.

Not baited. Not called in.