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Mated pairs of blue quail #9027762 04/01/24 09:34 PM
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Jon Offline OP
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I live in Howard county south of Big Spring.
I’ve been feeding birds and watching them out my window. Bunches of mourning dove pairs and various other birds but the last couple days, 2 sets of blue quail have showed up. I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way to tell which is male and which is female.
Anyone know? I had a pair last year that suddenly something - probably a damn tom cat - killed one. Saddest thing I ever saw when the survivor was just wandering around aimlessly like she was lost and didn’t know what to do. I’m going to take proactive counter measures this year. A grey fox or a bob cat might get one of these 4 but it won’t be a roaming tom cat this time.

Re: Mated pairs of blue quail [Re: Jon] #9027823 04/01/24 11:18 PM
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House cats are a big time predator of all birds, not just quail.



Re: Mated pairs of blue quail [Re: Jon] #9028293 04/02/24 08:03 PM
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I think if you look closely at the feathers on their throats the males are a little lighter colored and the females have some darker fine lines. Very hard to tell without both sitting in front of you.

Last edited by Whiptail; 04/02/24 08:04 PM.
Re: Mated pairs of blue quail [Re: Jon] #9028448 04/03/24 02:47 AM
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Thank you Whiptale. Now that you mention that, I think I may have noticed that this afternoon when they came the second time today.
One pair came really close to my window this afternoon, and the sun was just right. I think I saw what you are describing. The little tiny grasshoppers are just now hatching and they seem to be having a field day on those guys.

Re: Mated pairs of blue quail [Re: Jon] #9028595 04/03/24 03:06 PM
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Just a side note about the blue quail. I heard one calling this morning. Went outside to see where it was coming from and sounded just a little bit strange - was missing the second part of the call. It was a dang mocking bird up on my electric pole LOL. He had the first part down pat but was missing the second part of their call. I expect he will have that one down pat in a few more days. Had one at lake Brownwood one time that could do a cell phone factory default ring tone absolutely to perfection. People be looking for their cell phone roflmao

Re: Mated pairs of blue quail [Re: Jon] #9047641 05/15/24 06:20 PM
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For anyone interested,
I have learned a lot by watching the blue quail behavior.
I think one of the 3 pair lost the female. I’ve not seen 3 pair at the same time in a good while.

I’ve learned the males topknot is taller and whiter than the females.
The girls is more of a subdued sort of tanish cream color and shorter.

The males will often take a high position and watch the area while the female feeds.
When 2 bachelor males come in, and a 3rd one shows up one of the resident 2 will run him off right quick.
Sometimes the 2 regular bachelors will fight but manage to work it out.

They also will not tolerate a bully whitewing that is trying to run off another dove from feeding. I should name them Woodrow and Woodrow Jr. because they don’t tolerate rude behavior from a bully.

I’ve identified 3 different calls they make but not figured out what they mean.
The females go where they want and the males follow closely.
Even when they are both feeding the males head is always on a swivel looking for danger I guess.
I wish there were more females around so the 3 spare males could hook up with them.

When they sense danger from a moving shadow like a buzzard or from a wind turbine blade, they will do a tuck and roll evasive maneuver with wing flapping on the ground that is interesting to see.

Re: Mated pairs of blue quail [Re: Jon] #9048553 05/17/24 02:40 PM
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Actually, a blue quail mating call is just one whistle, they do not make the same two part whistle "bob-white" that the bob whites make...so you probably heard an actual blue quail rooster calling and a mocking bird copying that roosters call...I have actually experienced the same.

As for the pair you had been seeing and it appears the male lost his female, obviously it is certainly possible this is the case, but it could also mean that the female is tending to a nest...

Last edited by TX_Birddog1L; 05/17/24 02:43 PM.
Re: Mated pairs of blue quail [Re: Jon] #9049107 05/18/24 05:14 PM
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That would be really cool if the missing female was on a nest. If that's the case, should be little ones soon because its been about a month since I've seen 3 mated pairs at one time. I wonder if they split up when the hens are on a nest? Those males that are paired with a female are about the best guard birds I think I've ever seen and they know where their mate is at all times. And they stay real close to her. Max distance seems to usually be around 3 feet but more often, quite a bit closer than that.

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