Ode to the California Quail of the Okanagan

We often think about the big things when we travel.  In the Okanagan, it’s the wine, the sunshine, the golfing, the beaches, and the mountains.

But sometimes it’s the little things that bring such joy to a person’s life.  And in the Okanagan, one of those things is the unassuming and beautiful quail.  To watch these birds for any length of time is to bring real happiness into your day.  Even when I’ve been feeling grumpy, seeing quail scurrying across a lawn or watching the quail babies working their way up a hill makes me realize that whatever was making me grumpy had to take a back seat for a while.

One simply cannot be grumpy in the presence of a quail.

So to you, oh jubilant quail, I salute you, and offer this ode in your honour.  (Photos to follow)

California Quail of the Okanagan,
That’s a lovely curving crest up on your noggin,
Made of six lovely feathers we call a plume,
It helps attract mates, I am to assume.
I watch you take your dust bath each day,
Ruffling feathers, so happy and gay,
Wriggling about and flapping wings,
It’s fun-filled watching, such joy you do bring.
In your groups called coveys, you’re a sociable bird,
I see you scurry by, first, second, and third,
You vocalize ‘chicago’ and ‘squill’ and ‘pip’,
Your beautiful sounds make me jump up and skip.
I admit it always brings a smile to my face,
When you scurry on past, your legs such apace,
It’s never a bad day when I see you about,
A day without you is a day that I pout.
Quail 6

The quail, with its familiar plume, made of six feathers that droop forward.


Quail 7

Mama Quail with one of her chicks


Quail 3

Quails on the trail


Quail 2

A covey leading me through Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park


Quail 5

A sign alerting you to happiness


Quail 4

I made a poem. But Deb Sherwin, Toni Ramsay, and Peter Scott created this sculpture in Osoyoos, entitled The Quail Family.


Quail 1

There’s only happiness when quails are around.

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