Gambel Quail, the  birds with the top knot dangling over their forheads, mate  for life. They also live in family units: the winter coveys even include nonbreeding adults.  But during breeding season, the coveys change.  Unmated males find a high spot to call to potential females.  Males help with the hatched brood (9-14 chicks), while the female may start a second clutch.

Their nest may be a scraped depression near a sheltering plant or an old roadrunner or Cactus Wren nest.

You’ll see them looking for food in early morning or late afternoon; seeds, grain, plants and fruit of cacti on the ground.

And always, the traffic stopping procession of Momma and Daddy hustling their huge brood across a busy street. They make it, the little ones  hoping up over the curbing to safety.  Amazing!