Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Day Quail Story

Reposted from last year...
On a rainy Father's Day afternoon in 2011, we observed a flock of quail and some brand new chicks making the dangerous trek across the neighbor's backyard. Unfortunately their dog took a couple of the chicks. Once out of the backyard, the survivors had more challenges to overcome; fording the raging waters of the gutter, then crossing the busy street to the safety of my yard. We stood guard making sure the quail made it across the street without getting run over.
The poor chicks were soaked. The adult quail quickly ducked under my front shrub, but only a couple chicks were able to nestle under the adults. The other three wandered and struggled until they collapsed on my sidewalk in cold puddles of water. At that point, I decided intervene. I picked up the cold and exhausted chicks and placed them under the shrub with the adults.

A couple hours later I checked on them. The adults were gone and sadly the three little chicks lay there and appeared to be dead. I gently scooped them up in my hand and found some life in them. I picked off a couple opportunistic ants and then placed the quail chicks in a cardboard box. Then I put them on the kitchen stove which had just been used to cook Father's Day dinner. The oven was off, but it was still nice and warm. After half an hour on top of the warm stove they were up and running around in the box, chirping away. It seemed a miracle!

I noticed that one of the chicks still had a bit of the nail on the top of the beak, used to break open the egg, so these must have been very recent hatchlings. They were so cute.
Now that the chicks had revived, I went looking for the parents. I found some adult quail roosting in the neighbor's hedge. The gentleman neighbor saw me with the box of baby quail and upon learning what I was doing he kindly locked up his cat. I placed the chicks inside the base of the hedge and backed away. Within seconds an adult male quail dropped down and nestled the three little chicks underneath of him. It was the most beautiful and touching thing to witness on a Father's Day!!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, such a sweet story! Precious little quail chicks. I hope they are all thriving a year later. Wonderful Father's Day post!