Updated: Apr 23, 2021
Imagine the life of a California Quail. They move through heavy brush like a Special Forces unit, evenly-spaced, not committing too many members to the same exact spot. It's about reducing risk, because everything wants to eat quail: rattlesnakes, bobcats, coyotes, roadrunners, people, Cooper's hawks. Quail often maintain group contact and cohesiveness through vocalizations and wing flaps due to the thick coastal sage scrub. Line of sight won't get the job done. The strategy works until it doesn't. Watch this group of quail respond to military jets flying over. Turn up the sound. Fear and confusion. This happens dozens of times per day. Near Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, San Diego, CA.