Quail of west Texas

Where are all of the birds?  Ann and I have been going out a couple times a week and we are finding a scarcity of birds in our area.  San Angelo State Park is usually a great birding venue but we have been lucky to see only a dozen or so species on recent trips there.  The same goes for Spring Creek Park.  We have been visiting on several morning to Twin Buttes Reservoir and have been rewarded with raptors, though.  That is always fun.

But absent of exciting news about local birding, I decided to reach back in my files and write about the local quail.  They are always fun to watch and photograph.

Most frequent sightings of quail in this area are of the Northern Bobwhite.  We have seen them in the brush and in trees.  The adults are are very watchful of their young, always herding the little ones around.  We have seen an adult literally stop traffic, while it’s mate escorts the kiddos across the road.  They can be found throughout the central and eastern part of the United States.  The following three photos were captured at San Angelo’s State Park.


Male Northern Bobwhite


Female Northern Bobwhite


Northern Bobwhite in tree.

The Scaled Quail is another that is found in the Concho Valley, albeit not in as greater numbers.  They primarily reside in the desert southwest.  They get their name from the pattern of their feathers.  They are also know as Blue Quail for the bluish tint they sometimes display in certain light.

We were prowling around Lake Balmorhea, in west Texas, when I spotted a small flock of them.  Near a fence there was a pile of dirt.  Two of them climbed atop the pile. Then as I was getting a photograph, a third wanted to get in on the act and joined them.


Scaled Quail


Scaled Quail

The photo below was taken at another location.


Scaled Quail

The Gambel’s Quail is found from far west Texas, into New Mexico and Arizona.  We hadn’t been lucky to see any in our travels until we visited Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.  The photo below is one of my images from there.


Gambel’s Quail

On a later trip to Presidio, Texas, we spotted this Gambel’s Quail as we were approaching the outskirts of the city.


Gambel’s Quail

Last, but definitely not least is the beauiful Montezuma Quail.  In Texas, they are seen in the Davis and Quadalupe Mountains in the far west of the state.  But knowing where they are and finding them is a matter of luck and timing.  It took us about four visits to the area before we finally saw our first one.  We were visiting a friend that resides in the upper elevations of the Davis Mountains.  He had a bird viewing site of his own and allowed us to watch for awhile.  After a couple of hours of viewing and photographing other species, a couple of the tiny Montezuma Quail wandered down to his water feature.  My heart leaped at the chance to photograph them.


Montezuma Quail.


Montezuma Quail

I really hope you enjoyed this post and the photos.  As for me, I feel so fortunate that I live in an area that I can get out into the wild to photograph God’s creatures, and share them with you through this blog.

Until the next time,