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A Quail Tale

It's that time of quail season! Soon we will be seeing little fuzz balls floating behind their parents, as they scurry from hiding place to hiding place along the ground.

Several years ago, we had an amazing experience with baby quail! This it that story.....

We rescued 5 abandoned baby quail on July 4th, 2009....the day they were born. Quail aren't that least the parents of these babies. They built a nest in a planter where the babies couldn't get out after they hatched. They did this every year. This year, they got 5 out and left 5 in the nest. That's where we stepped in.

We called them the Whootoos-

Their call: " Woooo Tooooo! Woooo Tooo!". They quickly adapted to their penned life and started to thrive. Our dogs at the time, Lulu and Baily claimed them as their own. The only way the baby birds would settle down is if Lulu or Baily were in attendance. Unfortunately, 3 did not make it. Only 2 survived.

When they were about 2 months old we released them into the yard. This was the first thing that they did...plunked down in the grass and lounged!

We had no idea if they would adapt and survive, but they made themselves at home and became 'porch pets'!

They spent many happy hours on the porch with us. At the end of each day, when the sun started setting, the Whootoos would make their way back to the fenced area where we released them.They roosted in a bush along the wall.

The whole family had fun with them every day, even the dogs!

As the baby quail grew it was evident that they were both girls.

As the weather started to cool, the Whootoos spent more and more time out with the wild quail in the yard. Eventually, one of them (we had dubbed Hook) was woo'd by a male and ran away to join a covey...she did not come back to the porch. The other, we called Hootch, still came back to the porch now and then to do a little socializing.

This was the day Hootch came to say farewell.

She sat with us for about an hour, said her goodbyes, and left for the wild. We saw Hook and Hootch almost everyday. They still roosted with their mates where we released them for a while, and then we lost track of them.

One day, the following summer, I was sitting in the house when something caught my eye through the sliding glass door on the porch. To my amazement, there was a female quail that came up to to door with about 5 babies! It was most certainly one of the Whootoos! She showed off her new family for a brief moment then led them back into the wild.

Our quail tale is one we will hold dear for the rest of our lives! Whoo-too amazing!

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