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California quail: They’re returning to our backyards!

By Gary Bogue
Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 6:58 am in Birds, California quail.

Quail on backyard sentry duty by John & Sandy Ritchie, Concord, Calif.

California quail were absent from our yard for years, but have made a comeback over the past 2-3 years. It’s delightful to hear the “Chicago” calls again.
John & Sandy, Concord

Dear John & Sandy:
Five years ago I don’t think you could spot a quail anywhere in town. I think the cats got a lot of them. Now … I probably get 4-5 reports a month saying quail have returned to local backyards. I wonder if this is an indicator that the feral cat population is down?

Isn’t it great to see all these quail? Beautiful birds!

Any other quail out there in never-never land? /Gary

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8 Responses to “California quail: They’re returning to our backyards!”

  1. Kaaren smith Says:

    I just came in from our backyard after hearing quail calls and watching the male calling to his flock sitting on our fence and flying into our large tree. Yes, after living in the lower Emerald Hills area of Redwood City for eight years we finally have quail. I have been throwing out mixed bird seed for a couple of months and they showed up about three weeks ago. They are eating the seed on the ground in a secluded spot. I am overjoyed! Such fun and music to my ears!

  2. BirdAdvocate Says:

    “I wonder if this is an indicator that the feral cat population is down?”

    That would be good to hear. I haven’t heard a quail or even seen a meadowlark in my neck of the woods in years.

  3. Maria of Concord Says:

    We now have quail on our street, at the top of St Francis Drive near Lime Ridge Open Space. They are not here every day, but we never had them until this year.

  4. Anne in the WC Says:

    I just saw quail at the Lafayette Reservoir this early morning for the first time. Maybe they are there all the time, but I’ve never seen them.

  5. Tk Says:

    We have a family with more than a dozen young in our backyard. First time ever. We’re fenced with open space behind the property. I saw them come into the backyard from the front. Love the visit, but I have a dog and kids. Should I be worried, or will they find a way out?

  6. Gary Bogue Says:

    Tk: Not to worry. They’ll find their way out. /Gary

  7. El Says:

    I have a Japanese quail that I saved (dehydrated, thin etc) I found him just outside my door here in never never never land- Moreno Valley.
    Currently he lives in a cat carry case and I learned how to care for him from the net and a new friend in San Francisco. He has grown and is now lonely, am trying to find a sanctuary for him. We call him Bob the alarm quail his call starts at 6:03 am and continues until about 6:30. It does echo on vaulted ceilings!!

  8. JoAnn Funk Says:

    Dear Gary,
    I looked out my front window yesterday, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, and saw two quail walking on my sidewalk! I grabbed my camera and tried to quietly slip out front. By then they were on the ground near the side of my porch, they heard me, and flew up to my roof and another to a nearby tree. I tip-toed to the front yard and captured with my little Canon Powershot this photo before he flew away:

    What a thrill! I live in far east part of Brentwood, by the way, near farmer’s fields and catch basin at nearby Heron Park. I have a bird feeder and love to watch them eat just outside my window. JoAnn

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