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6/22 Quail Update

Alan Hopkins <ash@...>
 

I did the media thing today with Damian Rafa and a lot of other great
folks from the Presidio Trust. We met with a reporter and photographer
from the Chron. I think the angle revolves around the new caution quail
signs the Damian had created in the Presidio.

We had a really hard time showing the Chron folks quail (although we had
great looks at the new signs). At the very last moment we spotted a male
in a yard along Washington. The photographer got out of her car and
snapped some shots off before the bird ran into a small bush next to one
of the homes. I was trying to coax the bird out of the bush when the guy
who lived in the house wondered what the heck was going on. He turned
out to be a marine, and a nice one at that. He said he liked to carve
bird out of wood and had quail in the yard all the time. As we were
about to leave, a van pulled up � it was a Presidio house painter who
wanted to give Damian his quail monitoring report. What an afternoon.

After I left the Presidio I stopped by the Arboretum to check the new
family. They were still under the Safari Sunset in the Cape Province
Garden. It appeared that there were still five chicks, although I did
not get a good count. The five stooges were still in the California
Garden. I watched one male chase the other non-stop for ten minutes. The
chasee was short of quite a few breast feathers. I decided to try a
little experiment: I played my Ca. Quail tape near the two chasing
birds. The chaser promptly left the area. The chasee with the missing
breast feathers came in to the tape, walked up a madrone and started to
call back. I expected the aggressor to be the one to challenge the tape.
Very interesting.

Alan