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Breakfast time
When I get into the Mule and open the garage door, within seconds of being outside, our dogs know that soon they will be eating. Yes, they start barking and that is like an alarm clock that just began ringing as loudly as it could. As I am driving my Mule towards the dog kennel, I see quail all over the place, darting here and there.

Once at the kennel, I turn off the Mule and head for our containers that hold bird seed. Bev and I usually buy the 50 pound bags of wild bird seed from Costco. The quail and my pigeons love eating it. I will usually toss about a pound and a half of bird seed to two different locations only 20' apart. That helps keeping the birds from getting two crowded.

When you look at the 3 pictures this is what it looks like at the first spot. Since we had a low pressure system working through the area there seemed to be more birds than usual. Please remember, if you like your sanity, don't attempt to count the birds. I gave up a long time ago.

These birds have finally gotten used to me a little bit. They are only 15' from me. Other than taking pictures with a camera in the burst mode, which is noisy, they got used to that. I don't move much so it puts them at ease but only for brief periods of time. This spot is difficult for the Cooper's hawk to get after them, but they try from time to time. There have been many times this year where we have had 200 Gambel's quail eating breakfast and or supper. We feed them in the morning and the evening just before we feed our dogs.
Allan

I took these shots on Sunday morning, 12-26-21 If you LEFT CLICK on the picture it will make it larger.



There is also a gopher in the picture filling his cheeks as fast as he can.








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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
 
cool pics. thanks for sharing.
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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
Very cool! Do you ever hunt quail?

Obviously I don't mean the ones you're feeding close to home!

.........................................
Recovering Engineer, Standup Philosopher, Aspiring Pirate, Cooking Enthusiast
"Life is a garden.... Dig It!"
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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
That's awesome Al!

Love the quail
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You are welcome, Joe. Glad you liked them.
Allan
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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
Charles, I have never hunted quail. I raise pigeons and since moving to New Mexico, I have never shot doves either. After saying that I think the reason is that I like duck hunting so much. My wife put up with me when I hunted ducks 89 days about 12 to 15 years ago. I know that I am a lucky guy. I thought I had cut way back the next year when I only went out 74 days.

I do want you to know that in the course of a year we will have a couple of quail that go bonkers on a sudden attack by a Cooper's hawk. Once in a great while we have one that breaks its neck when hitting a window. BUT they don't go to waste. I will use that bird to train dogs.
Al

I used this male Gambel's quail to work with Belize aka Belle.




Belize is a sweetheart but if there is something to retrieve, get the heck out of the way because she will be after it. She is my house dog and that kind of buddy that will be at the truck before you even think you will be using it. ESP




She has a very soft mouth.








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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
You know,Dani, Bev and I will sit in our swing when the weather gets nice and that is about the same time that the quail will begin bringing their little puff balls to our place. They learn where to go while at our two ponds so that they can get a drink. Then they will also be shown where we feed them. One year I think it was 2019, on one morning we had 18 broods come to our feeding station. That was fun.
Allan

Hey, Dani, I just found another rose. I took this one back on May 5th, 2021.






Makes having coffee out by the pond lots of fun. Took this shot on May 8th, 2019


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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
Al,
When I think of breakfast and I think of Quail,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I see a mental imagine that makes my mouth water. Angelic Cool

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
Good morning, Dave,
I am happy that you are suffering from a mouth-watering image of what a breakfast quail would taste like. Now would you do this?

That vivid memory has been my downfall for years now. We have a small restaurant just 5 miles south of our home in the village of San Antonio, named the San Antonio Crane. Soyla, the owner and chef knows how to make folks smile when they eat her New Mexican food. My all-time favorite breakfast is a green chile breakfast burrito with eggs, ham or bacon, potatoes, garlic,and more green chile. Did I mention green chile? Here is my problem.

More than I care to admit to, this happens to me. The honey hole at the ranch that I hunt is only 5.5 miles from the San Antonio Crane. If on a particular morning hunt that might be very slow with activity or colder than usual, I begin to think about what it would be like if I happened to be sitting inside that cozy restaurant with those savory aromas of breakfast and coffee being served. Normall, Dave, I think of myself as a hunter with some strong convictions BUT as I have inched towards being older now, it has made it a bit easier to get up, break hunting camp and head for the San Antonio Crane.

The waitress will ask what I would like for breakfast and without thinking and kind of being like Little Ralphie when talking about his dream about owning a Red Ryder BB gun, I blurt out, "I would like a breakfast burrito with Bacon and I used to say, smothered in Green chile, but now I usually say "swimming" in green chile. I have never regretted leaving the duck blind to go get that breakfast at Soyla's. Oh, to keep the peace with my partner in the duck blind, my yellow lab, whose name is Chip, I found out his weakness, also. It is a burrito size tortilla, wamed up on the grill, then wrapped up so it will be toasty warm when I get to the truck. Chip's tail is wagging when he begins to eat that tortilla shell. I enjoy breaking it into pieces to make it last longer for him. End of hunt!
Allan

Dave, I couldn't stand the torture I had placed myself in, so I called in my order and made the 5 mile trip to the cafe to pick up my breakfast burrito.. What I did forget to tell you is that a friend of mine who runs a farm only a couple of miles from us provides Soyla's cafe with green chile. YUM The best $4.95 I have ever spent. It was scrumptious!




Last edited by:

Al Hansen: Dec 29, 2021, 10:37 AM
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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
Cool pictures Al. I haven't seen a wild quail in Illinois in decades.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
Al, I seem to recall a story about you leaving a Burrito in the truck and one of your dogs eating it. When you got back to the house you figured out the culprit by which dog bolted to the water and emptied the bowl.

.........................................
Recovering Engineer, Standup Philosopher, Aspiring Pirate, Cooking Enthusiast
"Life is a garden.... Dig It!"
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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
Ed, have the Fish and Wildlife folks in Illinois ever brought in some quail to try and get them established again? Sorry to hear that. They really are a magnificent bird.

Speaking of birds, yesterday when I took Belize and Coal with me as we began looking for ducks in the low flow ditches, I stopped to take a picture of some missletoe in a cottonwood tree. That is when I saw the American Kestrel. They sure are beautiful and very small. When I got home and loaded my photos onto my computer, I saw a brand new mistletoe parasite right below the Kestrel's feet. I have seen some pretty big cottonwood trees succumb to this parasite especially when the tree will host so many of them.


If you look just below the kestrel where the fork of two branches is, you will see a new mistletoe parasite starting.



Last edited by:

Al Hansen: Dec 29, 2021, 9:23 PM
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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
Charles, you have a very good memory. The culprit was Chili, my duck hunting partner for 12 years. It was either a burrito or a green chile hamburger. It was a riot to watch her because when we got home she leaped out of the truck and made a bee line for our pond that we have by Bev's art studio. I'm typing this and laughing about what she did. It was that funny. She only did that once. That is Chili in my avatar. I have to admit that it has happened to me,also. I drank milk instead. You know it is hot chile if you start to tear up and your nose starts to run. When we buy a gunny sack of it every August and have it roasted, I make sure to wear latex gloves and Bev always lights a candle to put by the sink.
Allan

This young man is getting the green chile already to roast. Once the chile is roasted and it sits in a plastic bag for about an hour or more, it is very easy to clean off the skin on each chile.Sounds like a lot of work. It is! But when you are eating it whether on your hash browns and eggs or with a hotdish or hamburger/burrito, you quickly forget about the hard work and enjoy the moment.








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Al Hansen: Dec 30, 2021, 10:39 AM
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Misseltoe? Hanging it all over the house to catch the misses??? Wink


Bobwhite Quail populations are way down all over the eastern US.
I, and most biologists, believe its a habitat issue. Down here in the south, and across most of the eastern US, old farmland with small fields and lots of fence rows has been converted to open field, pulp rotation pine plantations, allowed to go fallow back to 2nd growth forest or converted to subdivisions. We just simply dont have the habitat to support the numbers of quail we used to.
Tracts (public and private) that are being managed again for open pine woodlands, with a regular prescribed burn cycle (every 2-3 years) are seeing improved quail numbers but not what was expected.
I also think the demise of fur trapping is another problem, more predators (raccoons & possums) to eat the eggs every spring.
Interestingly enough, skunk populations across the southeast, especially spotted skunks, seem to have also crashed.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
Carl, that is the stuff that people buy at Christmas time to hang under the doorway.

Thanks for the input on the quail. It all makes sense to me.

I remember when the farmers in Minnesota put a bar on the front wheel system that would flush a hen pheasant from her nest in a field of clover or alfalfa.. Then he could hit a lever that would raise the sickle bar that cut the crop. However in due time the predators like fox, coyotes, skunks raccons soon found out that if they investigated those clumps left out in the field that weren't cut that they would either be eating eggs and or the hen, also. In our area the nestig hen pheasants really took a beating and that flushing bar on the tractor saved a lot of them from certain death as they cut their field.

The only thing that really helped was when President Eisenhower? signed the Soil Bank legislation which allowed farmers to leave certain tracts of land fallow and still receive money from the gov't to do so. We saw an explosion in the phesant population. Out in the western side of MN we also had Hungarian partridge to shoot.

Of course all good things seem to come to pass. Soil bank was terminated and farming took on a new look with no grass growing along a fence line anymore. Big business began buying up farms and consolidating. The one family farm soon changed and agriculurists found out that if they tiled the land they could drain marginal farm land. They then planted that, also. More pheasants lost nesting habitat in the marsh grass or slough areas just like the ducks did.
Allan

PS
Thank God, the state of Minnesota bought hundreds of tracks of land that saved the grasslands and pot holes that our area in Big Stone county of MN had. That land was all set aside for any hunter to go and enjoy hunting, trapping etc. When I think about it, it really was too bad that back then, someone didn't raise the price of the Duck Stamp. All that money was used to buy more land. That never happened and soon it became impossible to buy any land with the meager amount of what the sale of Duck Stamps provided. I am glad that they finally raised the price on the stamp.
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Re: Breakfast time In reply to
So Al, is that where you and Tim had lunch with me? It was good food. Love the quail photos. Is it a good quail year? Inquiring minds want to know if the dogs ever got fed? We know the birds did.
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Good morning, Brad. Good to hear from you. The San Antonio Crane is the spot where we had our lunch that day. Soyla continues to serve great food.

As for the Gambel's quail, this past summer we had lots of humidity for a high desert region and there was a high degree of success hatching out chicks. I am talking about where we live. Most days, Brad, we are feeding at least a 150 quail. Thank goodness I know of two neighbors of ours that also feed them. They sure should be tasty treats after eating what they do. One 50 pound bag of seed purchased at Costco, will last me a week. I guess that is about 3.5 pounds per feeding time. I feed them at the same time I feed the dogs in the morning and afternoon. Their barking is like an alarm clock for the quail. They come running to their feeding spot. As Imentioned before, I spread that seed into two good sized areas. Helps keep the Cooper Hawks on their toes.

Now for the inquiring minds. Let it be known that these guys, gals, and tykes have always been fed a minimum of two squares a day, with the pups in the Puppy House getting 3. So no one starves! Also, in case they haven't thought about it. If I have to run to ABQ to pick up Bev at the airport or we need to see a doctor up there and we have pups in the office, we do use a puppysitter.

Brad, will the above answers help qualify me for maybe getting a recent picture or three of your hunting dog? Blush
Allan

Coal is normal most of the time---







Bev's daughter-in-law, Lisa, is now spoiling the heck out of Belize's pup they call Daisy. Here is picture of Daisy just before they headed back to Wausau, WI.




Here is Daisy this fall. Left click to increase the size of the picture.
Don't click on the last picture of Daisy. It gets smaller. I wonder why?



Last edited by:

Al Hansen: Dec 30, 2021, 10:43 AM
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Gladly Al. Snow here is as about common as rain is for you but here goes.