Daily Sketch 05/07/12 ‘Skittering Thumbs’

Congratulations are in order! Tim and I noticed a blur of movement just the other side of our backyard fence over the weekend. Mr. and Mrs. Quail (Gambel’s) were introducing their nine tiny new arrivals to the neighborhood market of seeds and sprouts.

Like their fellow inhabitant, Henri Hummer, the babies move so fast it’s almost impossible to see what they look like. At first all I could see was a blur of grey. With a lot of patience, I’ve been able to define shape, size and color. They seem to be so young that they look like tiny, furry dust balls with long necks and big feet. Size ranges from less than one inch when bunched in a frozen ball, to almost two inches long when running with necks streched out.

Mom and Dad have their hands full and try to keep their offspring corralled between the two of them. Immitating their parents, however, keep the little fur balls skittering after the larger birds like nine tiny echos. The babies run in the same posture as their parents; as a friend of mine once described each baby, “no bigger than a thumb,” running at the same angle with neck stretched and head tilted forward. Hilarious and adorable! Here are a few fast sketches (very fast!)

About Wendy Fallon

By day I am a technical writer, and by night and on weekends I am an artist and creative writer. Having lived in Phoenix, AZ with my husband Tim for 23 years, I find the urban wilderness in which we lived to be endlessly fascinating. Our home was tucked up against South Mountain, the largest city park in the U.S. The canal slashing across the base of the mountain provides inspiration for paintings, drawings, and sitings of wild coyotes, skittering fluffs of newborn quail, lizards and constant change.
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2 Responses to Daily Sketch 05/07/12 ‘Skittering Thumbs’

  1. Debbie Kyle says:

    What cute little fluff balls! The wildlife outside my door just consists of lots of hooting pidgeons;-( Love your sketches!


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