Eighteen Quail Eggs - Arizona
It seems that everyone loves quail. No matter who I talk to about quail, that person becomes excited.
Last spring, I saw my friend Georgia post on Facebook a picture of eight quail eggs in a hanging flower basket at her home. Of course, I asked her if I could come over and photograph them. Georgia and her husband Marshall feel so blessed that the quail have returned to this nest for ten years to lay their eggs. I also discovered that they feed the quail every morning in their backyard, which gave me so many opportunities to photograph them. Georgia is right - it is a touch of heaven. What a wonderful way to start your day!
Then began a fantastic adventure. I went as often as I could to photograph the eggs and quail. Every time I went, there were more eggs to discover. The hen usually lays 10 to 12 eggs; we were both so shocked and surprised when the mother hen ended up laying 18 eggs, which took 12 days. Once the last egg is laid, gestation starts, which is 21 - 23 days.
Just before her eggs hatch, the female quail calls to the chicks who chirp to each other from inside the eggs. They all hatch in synchrony. The chicks can feed themselves almost immediately, leaving the nest with their parents within hours of hatching.