California Quail Story with Video

Last night I was sitting at the table when I heard an unusual bird call just outside my window. It was something so distinct that I was alert right away. I called my husband over and we cracked the window and listened…he heard it too.

We were peeking out the window but couldn’t see anything out there. It called again. This time I recognized the call from the other day. Chi-CA-Go, Chi-CA-Go. It is sounds so clear once you recognize it.

California Quail.

This morning I heard it again and was determined to go outside and find the bird to confirm my identification. I quietly stepped out onto the deck. Quiet. Then I decided to head down the stairs to look around the yard. Quiet. Next thing I know, a bird flies right over my head and lands on the deck railing. It was a quail! Big, beautiful, gorgeous California quail. He sat there for maybe 30 seconds and then he flew up into our tree. I decided to go inside and get my video camera to try to capture him on film.

Of course he wouldn’t come out of hiding again for me but he did sing me his song. Here is a very short edited video of his call. Listen for the Chi-ca-go call and that is him among the chorus of other morning birds in my yard. You might need to turn your speakers up. 

California Quail Video

So that is my very exciting new bird to our yard story. We have lived here for over 21 years and this is the first time I have seen a quail in our yard. Wahoo!

Ideas for Drawing In Your Nature Journal

I decided to share some links to pages that I use to help us draw in our nature journal. Several are links to coloring pages but I like their black line drawings that simplify an object so we can learn to draw them on our own in our journals. Make sure to check out all the links even if they are from a state or habitat other than one where you currently live. Many times there are animals, plants, and birds that you will have in your location too. I don’t necessarily print the coloring book pages out and color them. We will use them as a guide to draw our own sketches of things we see in our Green Hour or for our nature journal.

Wildflowers:
Celebrating Wildflowers from the US Forest Service
These coloring pages are in PDF format so once you bring up the page, you can print out just the page you want and there is no need to print every page out on your printer.

Birds:
Feeder Birds Coloring Book from Cornell
These are not only coloring pages but could actually be used as notebooking pages for your nature journal. I print out the table of contents to keep in my notebook as a reference. This way I know what birds are included in the coloring book.

Trees:
Guide to Tree Sketching
I’ve shared this one before but it is worth listing again.

Flowers:
How to Draw Flowers and Plants
Step by step to various garden flowers

Ducks:
How to Draw a Duck on YouTube

Draw a Butterfly-Scientific Illustration

This is a fantastic page that teaches about how a scientist draws a specimen.

Various animals, birds, and reptiles:
Wildlife of New Mexico
This coloring book is worth a look. I think it is especially well done and many of the animals are found in other states as well. PDF format.

Wildlife of New Jersey
This is another really well done coloring book.

Wetlands Coloring Book
Lots of great ideas for drawing animals and scenes in this book.


Nevada State Wildlife ABC Coloring Book

Texas Wildlife Coloring Book

Hope there is something here that will help you with your endeavors to draw in your nature journal.

Pacific Treefrog

Pacific treefrog, Hyla regilla, found at the American River, California.

Bright sunny day.

He and a friend treated us to a show of their voices. They are very loud and make their song by expanding their balloon like throats. It is a fascinating thing to see.

Here’s a video that I shared on my other blog that has the frogs croaking at 25 seconds and 50 seconds into the video.
Pacific treefrog Video

The video is terrible but the audio is fantastic. They really were as loud as they sound in the video.

Handbook of Nature Study, page 186
“The frog may be studied in its native situation by the pupils or it may be brought to the school and placed in an aquarium; however, to make a frog aquarium there needs to be a stick or stone projecting about the water, for the frog likes to spend part of the time entirely out of water or only partially submerged.”

On pages 178 and 179 of the Handbook, Anna Comstock talks a little about a different variety of tree frog and shows a few photos.
“It is by means of these sticky, disclike toes that the animals hold themselves upon the tree trunks or other upright objects.”

Here is a nature journal entry my son did last summer of another Pacific treefrog that we observed.
Pacific Tree Frog-nature journal
We are going to be able to identify this little creature now when we hear his call and we feel privileged to have had this experience.