The Scaled Quail – The Cover Seeker

Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata) ©WikiC

Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata) ©WikiC

The Scaled Quail – The Cover Seeker ~ by ajmithra

The Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), also commonly called Blue Quail or Cottontop, is a species of the New World quail family. It is a bluish gray bird found in the arid regions of the Southwestern United States
to Central Mexico.

These birds seek for four different covers. They are as follows :

Feeding cover: Scaled Quail use grass clumps and shrubs for cover while feeding. In one study they were frequently seen crossing 82 to 165 feet (25–50 m) of bare ground. When disturbed, Scaled Quail hid in snakeweed (Gutierrezia spp.) or in grass clumps. In June and July foraging occurs on open grasslands which are not used at other times.

We have Jesus, our Good Shepherd, who makes us lie down beside still waters. But, times are fast approaching where the church may be stopped from feeding on the word of God and the church may have to hide during the times of tribulation..

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. Amos 8:11

Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata) by DavesBirdingPix

Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata) by DavesBirdingPix

Loafing cover: Scaled Quail coveys occupy loafing or resting cover after early morning feeding periods. Scaled Quail occupy desert grassland or desert scrub with a minimum of one loafing covert per approximately 70 acres (28 ha). In northwestern Texas, loafing coverts were characterized by:

  1. overhead woody cover,
  2. lateral screening cover,
  3. a central area with bare soil, and
  4. one or more paths through the lateral cover.

Covert heights ranged from 1.6 to 5.9 feet (0.5–1.8 m) and 2.6 to 6.9 feet (0.8–2.1 m) in diameter. Cholla formed all or part of the overhead cover of 85% of coverts, even though they were dominant
at only 12% of the study locations. In areas where Scaled Quail occur without cholla, woody species such as wolfberry (Lycium spp.) and mesquite are important for overhead cover.

In Oklahoma pinyon-juniper habitats, Scaled Quail use the shade of tree cholla (Cylindropuntia imbricata) and human-made structures. In Arizona, Scaled Quail occupied wolfberry and mesquite 1.7 to 5 feet (0.5–1.5 m) tall for loafing cover. This overhead cover provides midday shade, but is open at the base to allow easy escape from predators. In Oklahoma, winter home ranges always contained skunkbush sumac, tree cholla, or human-made structures providing overhead cover.

The highlight during the migration of millions of Israelites across the wilderness for forty years is the overhead cover that God gave them in the form of Pillar of clouds during the day and Pillar of fire during the night. Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is protection for everyone for all seasons..

And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. Isaiah 4:6

Mountain-Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) Cover for Scaled Quail ©WikiC

Mountain-Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) Cover for Scaled Quail ©WikiC

Night-roosting cover: Scaled Quail roosts were observed in yucca (Yucca angustifolia), tree cholla, and true mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) – yucca-fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) vegetation types. The height of vegetation used for night roosts was less than 1.6 feet (0.5 m).

No matter wherever you are and whatever situation you are in, just remember what king David said..,

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139: 8-10

Even during the darkest hour, as we stumble, confused and seeking direction, His protection and direction never seizes. He not only keeps His eyes on us, but also keeps us as the apple of His eyes. His light shall shine upon us to direct our path.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Psalm 139:11-12

Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii) Cover for Scaled Quail ©WikiC

Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii) Cover for Scaled Quail ©WikiC

Nesting cover: In March or April winter coveys spread out into areas with less cover. This use of areas with less cover coincides with a seasonal decrease in the number of raptors in the same area.

Scaled Quail nests are constructed under tufts of grasses, and are sheltered by sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), creosotebush (Larrea tridentata), mesquite, catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii), cactus, or yucca; under
dead Russian-thistle (Salsola kali), mixed forbs, or soapweed yucca; or sheltered in old machinery or other human-made debris.

In Oklahoma, 66% of nests were in one of four situations:

  1. dead Russian-thistle,
  2. machinery and junk,
  3. mixed forbs, and
  4. soapweed yucca.

In New Mexico, ordination of breeding birds and vegetative microhabitats indicated that Scaled Quail were associated with increased levels of patchiness and increased cover of mesquite and cactus.

Birds build nests in different places, sometimes in the most unusual place. But still, the chicks prefer the protection under the wings of its parents.

Where do we seek for protection?

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: Deuteronomy 32:11

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

The most secure cover for our lives does not come from our million dollars life insurance policies but from assurance that God has gave us through His bloodshed, suffering and death on the cross of Calvary.

Is your Life insured in Christ?

Have a blessed day!

Yours in YESHUA,
a j mithra

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Check out his articles here at  A J Mithra and his Nuggets Pluss

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