We spend a lot of time on our covered patio, enjoying the outdoors morning and evening, and we've become quite involved with an extended family of California quail.
There's a greenbelt right behind our back wall, so we get lots of birds in the yard, but these quail have become regular fixtures. They nest in our neighbor's yard and they roost at night in the live oak behind our wall. Every morning around dawn, the quail flutter out of the oak onto the concrete wall, which they use as a sidewalk.
Kelly shot that photo a few months ago. The quail clan is now up to three generations, and we counted nine juveniles on the fence the other day.
The adults have crests that are shaped like question marks. Looks like they're always wondering about something. They also round up the troops with a call that sounds like "Where are you? Where are you?" Which cracks us up.
Being ground birds, the quail aren't very good flyers. Footballs with stubby wings. Which makes the walking wall all the more attractive to them. After foraging every day, the adult quail round up the young'uns and head back for another night in the live oak.
And I'm on the patio, watching.