Friday, August 14, 2009

Gambel's Quail

Another favorite in our backyard is the Gambel's Quail. You can see a male in the photo today.

They have such cute little chicks when they first hatch from eggs, but they are like furry pinballs. You cannot catch those little baby quail.

Once the mother and father quail had their eggs in one of my large, tall pots on the back patio. I could see that if the babies hatched, they would not be able to get out of the pot.

I watched and watched and then finally when they hatched, weeks later, I had to get the chicks out of the pot. I was naive enough to think I could catch them with my hands and set them on the ground. Ha! It was like a mad pinball machine.

Bing, bing, bing around the cactus in the pot they went, and I could not catch one of them or even get one of them to walk on my hand that was wearing a leather glove.

I was worried about scaring off the mom and dad because it was taking me so long to try and get the chicks out of the pot, and it was so hot and the chicks had not had water. I finally devised a waterfall of towels that would land on a box that would soften the fall, but that is if I could get the chicks to start crawling up the towel hanging over the pot and then they would need to tumble down my towel waterfall. It eventually worked and out they went with mom and dad who were patiently waiting.

One interesting side note that told me to help out was the mother quail who knew it was getting too hot for the chicks to survive in the pot and had no way to get them out. The mother quail walked back and forth frantically at the bottom of my sliding glass door and started repeatedly hitting the glass with her beak to make noise until I came out and did something.

9 comments:

B SQUARED said...

You're a good mom.

Sharon said...

At least the mother was resourceful enough to ask for help. That was so good of you to lend a hand and a towel.

Jarart said...

Great story, made me smile as I envisioned it.

Lois said...

What a smart little bird! I enjoyed reading about how you got the babies out Julie. That sounds just like something I would have done. I'm really starting to get jealous of all the fun critter visitors you have in your backyard!

glenda said...

Loved the mallard ducks. they can take over. The baby quail when newly hatched look like little walnuts with feet to me.

brattcat said...

What a hero.

Don and Krise said...

A heartwarming story. Isn't it something how the mother looked for help? I guess she was more worried about her babies dying of thirst than you hurting them.

Thérèse said...

A substitue mum to the rescue! Bravo.

Susie of Arabia said...

Great story of survival, Julie! I'm sure the mama quail will forever be in your debt.

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