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Re: [LACoBirds] Mountain Quail, Buckhorn

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  • Stonick
    Elwood and others: I haven t really heard before that the MOQU range is shrinking. I believe they are doing fine and are widespread through the mountains. I
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 1, 2002
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      Elwood and others:

      I haven't really heard before that the MOQU range is shrinking. I believe
      they are doing fine and are widespread through the mountains.

      I have seen them is a number of widely separated areas, such as the campground
      near the top of Mt. Gleason, a private camp a couple of miles past the tunnel
      on the Angeles Forest Highway, the top of the Sam Merrill trail above Lake
      Ave. in Pasadena, and, most reliably, in the Walker Ranch area of Placertia
      Canyon State Park.

      I have also hiked the Burkart Trail more than a dozen times in the past ten
      years and have never heard nor seen a MOQU. Go figure!

      Ed Stonick
      Pasadena, CA
      stonicks@...

      On Sun, 30 Jun 2002 17:08:14 -0700 Elwood Hain <hainfamily@...>
      wrote:





      We hear a lot about the shrinking range of Mountain Quail in the San

      Gabriel Mountains. They seem to have disappeared from Chilao, for

      instance.


      But Friday morning, about 10:30, my 10-year-old son Danny and I got

      lucky on the Burkhart trail out of Buckhorn Campground, about 200 yards

      from the trail's parking area. Actually I was lucky and Danny was

      observant. He spotted a big male walking quietly under the bushes uphill

      from the trail, about 30 feet away. He knew it was a quail and said as

      much. In about a minute a female came along behind him, gabbling as she

      did. After we watched them -- and they ignored us -- a couple of

      minutes, the male strolled off to the right and shortly another appeared

      from the left. At least we think it was a second male. No chicks were

      seen or heard. After all had disappeared, we heard a male calling not

      far back in the brush.


      After such a good experience, Danny wants to be a birder. As he said,

      "Can I join the club now?" Darn right, son!


      Woody Hain

      Danny Hain

      Altadena







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    • Kimball Garrett
      At 12:27 PM 7/1/02 -0700, you wrote: ... L. A. Birders: I would certainly agree with Ed that the range of Mountain Quail in the San Gabriel Mtns., and Los
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 1, 2002
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        At 12:27 PM 7/1/02 -0700, you wrote:
        >
        >We hear a lot about the shrinking range of Mountain Quail in the San
        >Gabriel Mountains. They seem to have disappeared from Chilao, for
        >instance.

        L. A. Birders:

        I would certainly agree with Ed that the range of Mountain Quail in
        the San Gabriel Mtns., and Los Angeles County in general, is not
        shrinking significantly. Bear in mind that in this driest year
        in Los Angeles recorded history, a lot of species are less evident
        than in "normal" years (those years we never seem to have). Even
        in this dry spring/summer I've had Mountain Quail in Haines Canyon
        (just above the residential areas of Tujunga), at Charlton Flat (on
        the L. A. Audubon picnic bird walk), and a few other places. The
        slightly isolated population in the Verdugo Mountains is surely
        still extant, and they presumably also still occur in the Santa
        Monica Mtns. (though that population is small, patchy, and enigmatic).

        I'm told by Carol Donovan that Mountain Quail still come to the feeders
        at Chilao, but food is provided only irregularly because the staffing
        at the visitors' center is minimal and staff/volunteers have frequently
        been called away for fire-fighting duties.

        Part of the problem may be that many observers are not keyed in to
        the distinctive calls of this species. Besides the loud "twooook"
        or "queeerk" that territorial males give, social calls and chick
        assembly calls include a variety of repetitious "kwi-kwi-kwi...".
        "wit-wit-wit...." and "quee-ar, quee-ar, quee-ar..." vocalizations
        that can be surprisingly easy to hear. {By the way, you will all
        be fascinated to know that the Birds of North America species
        account by Gutierrez and Delehanty states that "Decapitated bodies
        of Mountain Quail humanely sacrificed for scientific study emit
        "cree-auk" vocalization for several seconds following decapitation."]

        Kimball
        *****************************
        Kimball L. Garrett
        Ornithology Collections Manager
        Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
        900 Exposition Blvd.
        Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
        (213) 763-3368
        (213) 746-2999 FAX
        kgarrett@...
        *****************************
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