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Photo: California quail in all of its splendor

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Our photo of the day shines the spotlight on this beauty of a bird.

We may flock to the beauty of exotic birds, the vibrant creatures from faraway climes. But are the birds in our own backyards any less spectacular? Case in point, the California quail (Callipepla californica), like the splendid one here photographed by Mark Heatherington. Mark notes: "I've read that the head plume is not one feather, but a cluster of six overlapping feathers. This is the first time I've been able to see this."

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