Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Quail, Writers and Survival

Do you see him?

Quail, Writers, and Survival

Gambel's Quail are native to Arizona and have adapted to life in urban communities surrounded by desert.

Such is the case in Sun City West where Frances and I enjoy watching them stomp through the yard, calling to one another. They are one of the few birds that still stimulate my failing audio receptors, and I like to think that they're always amused since it sounds like they chuckle.

It's Their Destiny.

Quail have several inherent strategies for thriving. They prefer to stay on the ground and have excellent camouflage for blending in with the environment. They can and will fly. They may nest where suitable in trees or structures up to 30 feet high. They are usually monogamous and stay together in a family unit.

But Life Isn't Easy.

We noticed that mom and dad quail showed up with a brood of six tiny chicks just as The Valley of the Sun experienced the worst heat wave of the summer. They were cute little rascals, no bigger than a golf ball, and so fast they were almost a blur running from bush to shrub.

The temperature rose to 115 degrees Fahrenheit that day.

The next few days temperature held between 112 and 114 and Frances worried about them. We saw four chicks, then, ohmygosh, 13 of the cuties following mom and dad. We felt great.

Then back to four, but they were juveniles now and looked like they would make it. There was no doubt that some of the clutch fell to fates of nature one way or the other.

Where Am I Going With This?

Gambel's Quail and writers face similar struggles.

Just before her eggs hatch, mom Gambel's Quail calls to her chicks. They answer her and chirp to each other. They hatch in synchrony.

Writers graduate a creative writing class. Much chirping occurs then, too.

Quail stay together, help each other find food, water, and cover.

Agent Dad
Ditto critique groups.

Dad quail positions himself where he can see. He stands guard and alerts the covey when things are amiss.

Writers have agents.

Not all quail survive.

Same with writers.

Quail can take explosive flight.

Some writers have done the same thing.

I think the next one will be you!

Are you ready? Leave a comment by clicking on the post title or going here.

Writing Fiction is published on Wednesdays.

Thank a veteran.


  1. I love this work that will help writers to make things happen in perfect way for their survival.

  2. So good to read your post, Burton. These parallels with the Quail make all the sense in the world to me. And I learned a few things here about Arizona wildlife. Thank you!

  3. Thanks, Gail. I'm looking forward to your post, too.


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