January 5, 2011: National Bird Day here in the U.S.
It’s also bean day, which works out nicely for those of you who don’t know beans about birds. And for birds that eat beans. Or people who eat beans with birds. (Tasty.)
The California state bird is the California Valley Quail (mostly because the Arkansas quail didn’t want to move that far and the Chinese Quail couldn’t understand our accents.).
Callipepla californica became the official state bird in 1931.
The birds are slightly smaller than pigeons (and much tastier…but I didn’t say that out loud).
They were introduced to New Zealand as game birds in 1865 (and have since flourished there, despite the fact that the environment boasts slightly fewer nuts than their original habitat).
And, just in case you were wondering what this delightful little feathered softball looks like*:
(Image author: Sid Mosdell, image posted in accordance with Wikipedia’s Creative Commons 2.0 License)