This time he was on the top of the hill rather than at the foot. No longer soliciting over the ship canal, he was calling from the roof of someone’s house. I used my iphone to both take this very poor picture of him (so poor, in fact, that he cannot be seen) and to make a low quality recording of him. This is a picture of the recording (and more about this in a future post):
A couple walked by and I told them he was a California quail. It made me happy that now just a few more folks know about him. I did not want to leave him.
Here is a link to another bird giving a “cow” call (at some point I’ll be able to upload sound, but not today): Cow_Call Cow because it sounds like that is what he is saying. Solicitation because it has been assumed that these calls are to solicit females (though yelling “cow” at them is questionable technique). Indeed, the males I’ve seen giving this call are generally not males associating with females. And I have seen a bit of copulation-related skirmish between a cow-calling male and a female associating with a different male. I, however, found no evidence that “cow” calling males were more likely to father young (in an initial molecular analysis).
I am hesitant to trust the label “solicitation” call until this function has actually been tested—something I would actually like to do.
We assume too much. We think we are seeing through their eyes when we do not even have the functional ability to see what they see. This is mechanics wise, I mean—this is opsin proteins and colored oil droplets.
But I digress.
The cow call is also related to testosterone level as is another typically male only call—the squill call. Another call whose function I want to study—especially as males seem to use it to jam females “rally” calls. But this is for another day.
The politics of quail intersexual behaviors is still beyond me but is clearly something of interest—at least to me. Perhaps to you?
And what exactly am I spending my time doing? Not finding quail up here, other than this lone male who’ve I stumbled upon accidentally.
Perhaps I’m getting ready.
Yes, that’s it.