About two feet of snow has accumulated around our house (near Lookout CA Modoc County) in the last few days. Up to 30 mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) often come into the yard to eat the buds off of our shrubs and fruit trees (OK by us). To get at tender grass shoots the deer paw away the snow or root with their noses to uncover the tasty morsels. The deer look so cute when they look up with their faces and noses covered with snow.
California quail (Callipepla californica) have a difficult time getting through the deep snow to reach insects and seeds. The quail obtain a convenient meal by foraging the ground exposed by the burrowing mule deer. Unintentionally the mule deer are helping the California quail survive the harsh weather.
Leonard and I find it interesting to observe the opportunistic quail and their mule deer benefactors as well as all the other birds and mammals that are trying to survive this difficult period.