Dust Birds from California

While on the road today in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, I came across a group of California Quail, a small ground-dwelling bird that is the state bird of California.

These birds have a curving crest or plume, made of six feathers, that droops forward: black in males and brown for females.

One of their daily communal activities is a dust bath. This group of quail have selected a sunny area where the ground has been newly turned and is soft, using their underbellies, they burrow downward into the soil some one to two inches.

They then wriggle about in the indentations they have created, flapping their wings and ruffling their feathers, causing dust to rise in the air.

They are year-round residents. They were originally found mainly in the southwestern United States but they have been introduced into other areas including British Columbia, Hawaii, Chile, New Zealand, and to Norfolk Island and King Island in Australia.

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