Monday, June 30, 2014

Bee Stitch and Quail Babies

Design - "June Stamp" (Flip-It)
Designer - Lizzie Kate 
Fabric - 28 count Light Mocha linen
Fibers - GAST & WDW - 2 strands over 2 threads
Started - 24 June 2014
Completed - 26 June 2014

The bees are finally humming about.  I like to think all my bee stitch of late has encouraged them!

Well I promised some baby California Quail photos.  I apologize in advance for the quality of the photos.  The babies are tiny, tiny, tiny, and they quick so they are often a little blur.  And I respect the parents' protective instincts so I am quite far away from the birds and using my maximum zoom.  With that in mind, here goes...

First off kudos to Mama and Papa Quail.
They are amazingly dedicated parents!

Mama and babies. The babies are about the size of a Junco and the cheep like chick (baby chicken). 

Here's Dad with some of the crew.

They are keeping very close to the tall grass and brush at the edge of our berm.

The parents appear equally responsible for the well-being of the babies.

You can see it gets chaotic a times and how difficult it is to accurately count the chicks.

Sometimes Papa Quail flies up on a small tree or bush the better to survey for predators or danger. 

This is, I think so precious!  See the baby tucked under his wing?

Two babies tucked in with Papa.

And three babies with Mama.

Off on a stroll once again.

This is my best shot of the entire family.  I counted ten chicks - six to the left of the parents and four to the right.

Closer up to Mama and some of the chicks.  The Junco in the front right of the photo is useful for size comparison. 

Three babies.  
As young as they are, they already has interesting feather patterns - a stripe down their head and stripes on the wings.

  I think at this point we have two quail families and we may add a couple of more in the next few days.  I have been sadden to see a couple of 'bachelors' - male quail on their own.  While it is possible the females are on the nest, given how often I see them alone, I think it is more likely that they are widowers.

And so not to leave you on that melancholy note... 
Here's an interesting bird lesson (I think anyway!).  I had never thought about it but most songbirds like Robins are born naked and blind and rely on their parents to feed them for several days or weeks before they can fly and feed themselves.  On the other hand, ducks, geese, and quail babies are born with feathers and are able to eat, and swim or fly almost immediately - though they still need their parents' care.  Hatchlings that continue to develop in the nest and rely on their parents' to feed them are altricial. Birds like ducklings and quail which spend longer developing inside the egg, and thus can eat and walk and swim or fly upon hatching are precocial.
Now you know!

One year ago today I blogged about our daytrip to York.


Vickie said...

SQUEE! I shared this post with Brian and Madeleine. We all love the pics. =)

The Inspired Stitcher said...

You know my love of bees! This one is a favorite. Cute babies!

Dani - tkdchick said...

What a lovely finish, congrats!

Mary said...

Thank so much for wonderful baby quail photos. Precocial birds ( said like I knew what that meant before your post) always amaze me. Tucked under parents sweet.

Melissa said...

Your Beehive finish is gorgeous!

Now, onto the quail photos. They are great! The clan is so cute! I particularly like the photo of the chicks tucked under the mom's wing - adorable!

Giovanna said...

Cute babies! And congrats on the very pretty finish.

Brigitte said...

A great June bee design. This morning I also discovered two bee related patterns in some older magazines and I'm very pleased with them.i

Carol said...

Oh, how sweet are those baby quails!!! Those are really special photos, Beth, especially the babies being sheltered under their parents sings :)

Nice LK finish, too!

Małgorzata Zoltek said...

Przeuroczy ten hafcik.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

That's a lot of babies to take care of, I hope they all do well. A neat little stamp finish, I admire the way you trot out these small pieces Beth.

Margaret said...

Wow, that is so neat about the precocial versus altricial baby birds. I had no idea! So interesting! The baby quail are so cute! Such dedicated parents indeed! Do the quail mate for life? I bet they do. Love your stitching finish too.

Barb said...

Oh my gosh, they are the cutest little things and with such good parents. Sadly better than some human parents!

cucki said...

Cute babies :)
Sweet finish my dear too x

Maggee said...

Cute Bee Stamp! As soon as I read about 'precocial' babies, it brought the word 'precocious' to mind,which usually refers to someone's kid that is cute and showing mature tendencies... Hmmm... Same same! Love all those pictures you took, even when you kept your distance! Excellent!

Pam in IL said...

Aww, the babies and quail family are precious! Thanks for the bird lesson as well. I never really thought about the differences before, but I'm like, I find it interesting.

Andrea said...

Awww, so sweet. Love how the babies are in mothers feathers, cute. Great stitching too.

Melody said...

What adorable babies! I think I enjoy your pictures of the quail the most. The shots you got of the babies tucked into the parents are the best!!

Mouse said...

awwwwww from start to finish ... love the tucked under the wing shots :) enjoyed the walk today and can't believe how fast that year has flown ... enjoyed re living it again :) love mouse xxxxx

Melanie said...

Awwwwwww! Teeny, teeny babies. Very cute. :)