The california state bird; the California Quail.

The wind continues. While in the garden this morning early a covey of California Quail ran along the road in front of me. They run but are capable of flying as well, they employ a combination of running and flying. If a small percentage of them are on the road’s shoulder there must be a million of them in the field.

Chubby short legged birds sporting a top notch clad in a gray suit hi-lighted with short dashes on the breast. The female is nearly a carbon copy with a few defining features. Her top notch is about 1/3 of the size of his, her coloring is more subdued missing the white dash high-lights and light colored breast.

A female California Quail is the subject of the photo, they are a good photographic subject. The plumage is neither too dark or too light making it suitable as a subject without a threat of excessive light reflections. I found the male quite a distance from her which is a rarity, they go everywhere together.

I found him on the shoulder of the road perhaps picking stones for addition to his gizzard. This picture was taken in full Sun directly over head. All of the colors in his feathers, the face mask and checkered neck sides all combine to form a unique bird.

They produce a number of chicks each year, broods of 5-13 are not uncommon. They are for me one of the best subjects to photograph, they seem to be in a perpetual pose. However when in large numbers for me it is harder to make sense of the composition. When taking pictures of small subjects in large groups the entire scene is capable of appearing too busy. A photographer has the task of conjuring up emotions of the viewer to gain feedback on the work. I suspect small subjects in a large group may conjure up the feeling of panic, simply too much going on. I’m careful about groups, it may be I don’t have the experience to deal with them. The California Quail is the States Bird.

Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter

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