Another One for the Life List

The fetching little bird in the photo is a Northern Bobwhite, Colinus virginianus. I was leaving the house early to walk with my neighbor, and I heard a “different” bird call. This is the time of year when birds begin migrating through, so you never know what you’re going to see or hear. I keep my eyes and ears open.

When we returned from our walk, the bird was still calling. We stood under a pine tree and listened. and then all of a sudden, there it was, standing just a few feet away on a neighbor’s stone wall. I ran back into the house to get my camera certain that the “law of disappearing fauna” would apply as soon as I wanted to take a photo, but when I went back, there it was! I was able to snap away at very close range, still not knowing what species I was photographing. It continued to call sporadically, but it also made chicken-like clucking sounds.

When I started researching using my photos, it was obvious that this was a Northern Bobwhite, a bird I have never seen or heard before. Apparently they used to be quite common in our neighborhood, but are rarely seen these days.

The Northern Bobwhite is a New World quail, native to the eastern U.S. and Mexico. Apparently hunters love to shoot them – although I can’t see what fun it would be to shoot something this cute out of the sky.

Bobwhites eat plants, snails and small insects. They like to hang out in fields, grasslands –  and our back yard. Maybe this one was attracted by the neighbor’s wildflower meadow. I hope it stays a while longer.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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9 Responses to Another One for the Life List

  1. cj wright says:

    What a treat to see this little beauty! It makes my day when I see an odd bird in my yard, too. Enjoy the visit.


  2. herbdoc says:

    When I was a child growing up in the summertime in Charlestown RI we would hear the call of the
    call of “bobwhite” everyday. The tend not to come out in the open so we always heard the call but rarely saw the bird. So nice you found one, DN!


  3. GardenPest says:

    gorgeous – heard many in my early days, first time seeing, thanks to you.


    • dirtynailz says:

      Glad you enjoyed reading about this one, GP. What surprised me was how tame the bird was. I was able to get within a couple of feet of him/her.


  4. auntie beak says:

    great shots, dn! just beautiful.


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