Friday, August 24, 2012


Your plumpness
defies your quickness
as you scuttle around
under brittle shrubs
feeding in this arid land.

Chuckling calls
bubbling through
dry landscapes,
when separated from group
uttering a desperate plea.

Close in a covey with
casual milling about then
sudden scurrying
over gravelly ground
during daylight hours.

Then gathering together
at family roosting sites
into higher branches
safer in numbers
as dusk descends.

Morning dawns again
birds jump to ground
to forage another day
surviving quite well
in the desert southwest.

You carry a dark comma,
a curved exclamation mark !
on your russet crown
pattering along like a
tiny avian sultan.

Your black plume bobbing
in courtly fashion
those chestnut-colored flanks
broadly streaked in white
with black belly patch.

A black face and throat
defined with white lines
outlining cheeks, and forehead
this elaborate design
you wear with elegance.

Gambel's Quail  (Callipepla gambelii)

Photo Location:  Oro Valley,  (Oro Valley)  Arizona