My favorite bird photo

I think (hope?) you’ll agree this is a pretty amazing bird photograph. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time.

I was walking through a park one summer’s day. As I passed a large flower bed filled with daylilies, I heard a couple of rustling sounds. I suspected it was a bird but had no idea what I was about to see.

bird photo quailI froze in my tracks, craned my neck and saw several tiny California quail chicks. They were poking about in the soil and wandering here and there.

Fortunately, I had my new camera (a Canon PowerShot SX50) along with me so I was excited at the chance to get some photos of these tiny fluff balls. The camera has a “vari-angle” LCD screen so I could hold the camera up high while seeing the scene I was trying to frame.

I’d shot a few pictures when something amazing happened:

The papa quail suddenly appeared in the middle of all of the chick activity and stood holding his wings out. I thought, “what in the world is he doing?” because I’d never seen them do that before.

The next thing I knew, all of the babies came a-running and stood under his wings! Soon I saw a couple of them dozing on their feet. I finally realized what was happening: it was nap time and the dad was providing them with protection from the sun and predators. How cool is that?!

So there I stood, taking image after image while saying to myself “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I can’t believe I’m getting pictures of this!”

And that’s my story. As I said above, I was in the right place at the right time. And I had my camera along with me — thank heavens for that. It also pays to be really observant of what’s going on around you. Before that happened, I had no idea there were quail in that bed or what was about to take place.

I’m very lucky.