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SCALED OR "BLUE" QUAIL

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The Scaled Quail, Callipepla squamata, or "Blue" quail, as it is known by most south Texas hunters, is a tough customer when it comes to running very rapidly through almost impenetrable brush. Yes, I said "running" because that is what he does best and due to that characteristic it is a quite different matter to hunt these birds as opposed to the "gentlemanly" Bob White Quail that will hold and then flush on command.

There is a joke attributed to baseball legend "Dizzy" Dean, that on a hunt for Blues he was pointing his shotgun at a covey running on the ground and one of Dizzy's more "sporting" companions said "Dizzy, you aren't going to shoot those quail running on the ground, are you? Dizzy's response was "Hell no, not if someone can get them to stand still..!"

There is far more truth in the joke than meets the eye, because the "sporting" thing and the filling out of a limit are often two different things when it comes to "Blues".


RED-TAILED HAWK

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The Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamicensis, is a large hawk of variable plumage with most adults having the rusty tail when seen from above (appears whitish from below). This hawk is quite common across all of Texas in the winter months. These hawks are great predators when it comes to rodents, ground squirrels and quail, and they spend a lot of their time looking at their surroundings from high perches, making them a very visible resident on most ranches.

The Red-tail in the photograph above shows what I like to refer to as the Texas sequel to "the partridge in a pear tree, it is a Red-tail in a yucca".

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