Scaled Quail

Can you venture a guess at why he is called a scaled quail? This beautiful fellow and his mate walked right by my camping site, presenting this extraordinary photo op! Photographed at Rockhound State Park, NM, USA.
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Nervous Nightjar

While walking down a rural road, I came upon this nightjar just off the pavement. He / she appeared to have a broken wing, so I felt obligated to capture this beautiful creature and make a delivery to the nearest wildlife rehabber. Meeting such a neat bird so intimately was incredible, but the scenario redefined "mixed emotions." Winfield, PA.

Dusky Grouse

While exploring Arizona's White Mountains, I nearly stepped on this dusky grouse hen. Taking several steps backward and sitting down, she soon resumed sauntering along. Greer, AZ.
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Sharp-Tailed Grouse

A sharp-tailed grouse briefly poses before bursting toward cover. Sharp-tailed grouse have one of the most bizarre courtship displays imaginable! A large number will gather at barren sites, referred to as "leks." The males crouch low, scooting around in an absurd dance while emitting the strangest squeaks. The ladies watch and judge this "masculine" performance.
Medicine Lake, MT.
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Ruffed Grouse

A ruffed grouse breaks from drumming on his log. During courtship, in early spring, male ruffed grouse will choose a log often next to a forest clearing. They will repeatedly drum on the log with their powerful feet. This process goes on for hours, days, sometimes weeks until a mate shows up and embraces his persistence. Bald Eagle State Forest, PA.
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Wild Turkeys

To find food, turkeys often kick up piles of leaves and dirt, pecking at the yummy insects left exposed. Madera Canyon, AZ.
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Gambel’s Quail

Despite their abundance, gambel's quail really are such beautiful birds. Their masks, tassels, and whimsical calls are beyond adorable! In the springtime, pairs can sometimes be encountered leading a long line of chicks behind them, as the family searches for seeds and insects.
Tucson, AZ.

Theatrical Turkeys

I missed the quip, but one of the other turkeys got this enormous gobbler quite worked up! Madera Canyon, AZ.

Ravenous Roadrunner

Roadrunners are true badasses of the Southwest. These ground prowlers can be seen just about anywhere in the Arizona deserts and won't hesitate to gorge themselves on rattlesnakes, scorpions, and spiders.