January 6, 2015
Yesterday while searching for a pair of great horned owls I had seen recently on a dead end road near Heart Island Conservation Area, I saw a covey of a half-dozen or so northern bobwhite scurry across the road and begin picking their way up the roadside towards me. I parked and waited. For about 5 minutes I was able to watch and photograph these beautiful little fowl as they worked past me, only mildly wary of my presence.
My first shot was of this male that cautiously worked his way up the road margin towards me. He was clearly aware of my presence, but didn’t seem overly concerned about the blue Accord sitting in the road.
The scurried dash of a northern bobwhite as it crosses open ground is charming.
The slightly raised crest indicates a bit of concern.
Still, this male sat in the open watching me for a few seconds.
At some point, something mildly spooked this male and he hunkered down, no more than 20′ or so away from me. Didn’t try to run away though; just sat there for a minute or two watching me. I would never have spotted this bird if I hadn’t seen it before it froze.
Whatever the cause for alarm, he got over it fairly quickly and resumed activity.
Most of the covey remained deeper in the sparse ground cover of the sandhills habitat.
Incredible patterning on the plumage of these birds.
Females can be distinguished from males by their yellowish heads.