BOB-WHITE IN SPRINGTIME
Bob-White was not a showy bird, although his suit was neat and quite jaunty. His back and shoulders were grayish brown, while his undersides were lighter. The feathers on the top of his head stood up like a small pompadour, and under his throat was a white necktie. Such a dress would not attract the eyes of his enemies — hawks, owls, or men.
Bob-White sat on the top of the gate one spring morning, whistling his merry call, “bobwhite, bob, bob-bob-white, bob-white, bob, bob-white.” Each time when he stopped whistling he hopped down on the top bar of the gateway and strutted back and forth like a turkey cock. First he would extend one wing to its full sweep, then the other, and finally spreading both wings and his funny short tail he would strut up and down as if to say, “Now if you want to see a fine bird, just look at me.”
But Bob-White was whistling for something else besides good spirits this morning. He was whistling for a wife. Presently down across the fields as though in answer to his calling came a clear “white, white, white.” Bob-White heard it and was pleased. He redoubled his calls of “bobwhite, bob-white,” and listened regularly for the musical “white, white, white” that came in return from a lady quail down in the thicket.
When this calling and answering had gone on for some time, Bob-White flew away, and his wings made such a whirring sound and struck so fast that this fact alone showed him to be a member of the partridge family. He is the smallest of all the partridges, and is known in parts of the South as the Virginia partridge.