Sunday, 11 August 2013

Quail family values

Him and her
I admire quail.
Their plan for society is simple and friendly.
Couples in the spring.
Family goes everywhere together in early summer.
Dad does lookout duty.  Mom watches stragglers.
Late summer when the kids are about the same size as their parents, families of families form up.  You can still see the family grouping but they form a society  that hangs together and forages cooperatively through the winter.
One - two- three, repeat.
Out with the kids. Dad scouts ahead.
Mom brings up the rear, counting beaks.
Families of families
I never see them fighting.

Footnote:  Foraging in a flock is smart for winter feeding.  Together they chow down the seeds in an area all at once and then move to a new area.  If they were every bird for its own feather, they would race around to to gobble the best food in the fall but as winter wears on, they would find less and less food when they move to a new area.  Massive chow down in one place followed by the same in another, reserves lots of seeds to be found later where they haven't been yet.

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