California Quail

California Quail

Quail is easily one of the most loveable birds in The Sea Ranch - also one that is sartorially correct at all times. The rakish head gear is unique and particularly stylish, as is the golden vest and the shawl of white lace. Always dressed formally, Quail is a stickler for protocol and there is generally a great deal of clucking when things are not just so within the group. Every day the individual members of the covey take a bath - a dust bath - and then go about the business of finding food all day long. At night, they will roost in a tall shrub or tree in an effort to get away from Fox. When the covey decides to fly, it results in an explosion of wings and sound. Once the distictive sound is heard it will never be forgotten - no other creature in nature makes that sound.

Quail has a long and varied record in legend and mythology. Romans held Quail to be a symbol of courage. Ancient Greek legends are full of Quail associations. Quail is often seen as representing communal love. German tribes believed that Quail could protect them against lightening strikes. In the later half of the eighteenth century, on his ill-fated voyage, French Captain Jean-Francois de Galaup de La Peruse was the first European to record seeing California Quail (which he incorrectly called partridges). In modern America, Quail is sometimes seen by the literarati as being a poor little bird that is overly timid. As Emily Dickinson wrote: "My Soul -- accused me -- And I quailed --" For us, watching Quail defend his covey from Fox, Owl, Hawk and Bobcat, we find the Roman view to be much more applicable. California adopted Quail as It's State Bird in 1931.

Quail personifies Love.