The scientific name for Mearns quail is Cyrtonyx montezumae. The genus refers to its big claws for scratching around in desert soils. It has big feet! Mearns quail is also known as Montezuma quail, harlequin quail and fools quail. Jeez! A friend once told me if your driving dirt or gravel roads look for small moving rocks along the side of the road and those are Mearns quail. It’s true and of course you’ll see them out in the road too. The best sightings, however, are the ones when you’re hiking and they bust out from where you just put your foot. Holy moly and jumping Jehoshaphats!
Mexican blue oak is also known as encino azul and the scientific name is Quercus oblongifolia. Mexican blues drop their acorns in November. Those acorns are only viable for short a time after they fall, so they’re relying on some fall/winter rains in order to germinate. It’s a marvelous ecological long shot. It’s no wonder that in good years oaks drop so many acorns That mast is also beneficial for numerous mammal and avian species.
I like the drawing of the Montezuma quail and I took it from Wikipedia. If you type Cyrtonyx montezumae into your favorite search engine you will find numerous photos of this borderlands quail.
The Mexican blue oak and acorn photos are mine. Look at those leaves that the specific epithet refers to. Oblong and cool.