California Quail Ornament

California Quail

So, while out shopping the other day, I found what looks like a California Quail ornament made out of felt and embroidery floss. It has the trademark black topknot of feathers over its head. It, also, had two metal shaped legs attached and could be hung with a loop of ribbon.

Old Memories

Boy, seeing that California Quail ornament really touched a memory from years ago.

Growing up we had a large covey of California quail that would hang out under an oak three which we called the monkey tree. I bet there was probably 25 to 30 of them at the most count. This oak tree was odd that it had low growing branches that would shield the quail from the sun and also provide a good predator cover for them. California Quail are apparently very social birds and like to hang out together in a group called a covey.

They had a bird call that we thought sounded like “Ba-Quick-A”, so that is what we called them. However, I see online that some people think they say “Chi-ca-go”. I don’t really agree with that. They could run fast and only flew off when you got too close or if they were in danger.

The Close Call

Quail typically nest on the floor. One time we found a recent hatching of California Quail babies. The nest was in a tall bit of dry grass right where the barbed wire fence and pink oleander shrubs met.

Those quails baby chicks were adorable and looked like mini baby chicks from hens. But since our cats liked to follow us around, one cat quickly had a baby chick its mouth. Somehow we got the cat to let go of the baby chick and we placed it back near the nest. By that time, the mother quail had crossed the dirt road with her little ones and was in the brush on the other side.

I remember taking the cat back up the house to give those baby chicks a chance to get away.

However, over the years, at some point, all the quail disappeared. I don’t remember when I last saw a California quail or heard their call. I think our cats probably got the better of them.

California Quail Information

California Quail are plump game birds and are the state bird of California. They have a comma-shaped plume of feathers on their heads. Males have deeper coloring and white strips around their faces.

They spend most of their time on the ground beneath the cover of trees or shrubs, They are found in sage bushes, oak forests, or woodlands of California or the northwest.

The eat seeds, leaves, flowers, poison oak berries, acorns, mites and snails. They also need a water source.

California quail nest on the ground amid tall grasses or at the base of shrubs. A clutch of eggs is anywhere from 12 to 16 eggs. The birds have a life span of three to five years.

They also are tolerant of people and like to take dust baths. I, personally, never saw one take a dust bath.

California Quail Ornament
Quail Felt Ornament, 9-10-2023

Ending Notes

I miss seeing those California quail. But I see online that some people raise them. They are game birds, so I guess they probably, also, eat them.

However, we never ate them, they were way too too cute for that.

The felt quail ornament in today’s blog photograph was from Merrifield Garden Center. Thank you for allowing me to blog and take photographs at your store for today’s blog.

Resource Sites: and Wikipedia,

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