Life just got a little calmer for 33 California quail.
After trapping the birds along the busy Wasatch Front, Division of Wildlife Resources biologists released the quail - 19 males and 14 females - at the agency's Emery Farm Harvey Place Wildlife Management Area in central Utah.
The WMA is about one mile north of Huntington.
The 33 birds released on Feb. 10 are among more than 200 quail trapped and relocated by DWR biologists this winter. The biologists will continue trapping quail through the end of March.
California quail are relatively abundant along the foothills of the Wasatch Front. As urban sprawl has spread into these foothills, some of the quail have helped themselves to plants and vegetables in peoples' backyards. When this happens, DWR biologists step in and transplant the excess birds to areas in Utah where they'll be more appreciated.
Small numbers of quail have lived at the Emery Farm Harvey Place WMA for more than a decade. The population at the WMA is struggling, however, because of years of drought, poor chick production and predation by raccoons and feral cats.
DWR biologists hope the 33 new arrivals will bolster the existing flock.