Quail Orbital Mechanics

My lonely male button quail, Snow, has stopped calling mournfully every morning, afternoon, evening – pretty much around the clock. Because last week, I selected three brides for him. I set them in the aviary and opened the carrier door. He located them quickly. He seemed stunned.

What would it be like to go from zero sexual partners to a choice of three? I think paradise would be a quail concept about now. Strangely I haven’t seen the behavior that bothered me in the past. No fighting or sorting out the little flock standings. Just a nice and peaceful exploration by the girls being followed dutifully by The Stud.

Snow is all white, but when the doves were in the aviary, their reddish grit was next to the quail’s dust bath facilities. So he’s still rather pink.

Featured image

The first girl quail I picked out also is white, with the cutest black marks on her head. She looks like she is wearing a tiara. So her name is Tiara. She also was used to demonstrate to me by the breeder that she has no brown feathers on her butt, so that means she’s a girl. Who knew? Well, besides other button quail.

Featured image  A past flock.

Next, I picked a hen who looks more like the traditional Chinese Painted Quails. She has a white belly, but her top is black with some lighter edgings to some of her feathers. She is Mantle.

The last one is mostly white, but has a loose stripe of black feathers down her back. Like a reverse skunk, almost. She is Stole.

They seem to be getting along well, but they are young. Perhaps in a couple weeks when sexual maturity hits, there will be more squabbling. I check every day for eggs but so far nothing, which is good. It’s too hot right now for eggs.

Featured image  Male button quail from a past flock.

When I go out to clean and refill splash dishes or feed the birds or chase the mice away, the quail all orbit the aviary in a hurry. They run clockwise until they get to where I am standing, then reverse and to to the shelter that’s over the dust bath bowl. After a while, they continue counter-clockwise to their scratch dish, which is close to where I am standing filling food dishes. They reverse and scatter back to the dust bowl.

Featured image  Protected area for quails only.

Tiara gets a bit panicked near the door to the aviary. She tries to jump up in the corner there. The result is that she comes right back down in the same place. Sigh. Not the brightest birds in the flock, but so much fun to watch.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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