I’ve become a little obsessed with the quail nest in the backyard. It’s under a yucca right off the back patio. There are 7 eggs and there’s been a quail sitting on them and one standing watch nearby in the yard almost 24/7 for the last month-ish.
The whole ‘nesting birds in my backyard’ thing is making me very nervous. I’m completely emotionally invested in seeing them safely hatch (well, I guess not emotionally invested enough that I don’t ever go out there and scare their mom away).
This weekend, when Jason and I were driving home from hiking (cause that’s a thing we do now, you know. We hike. [OK, we’ve only done it twice, but I believe the rule is that if you’ve done something more than once it can be called a thing you do]) a family of quail ran out in front of our car. It was one adult in the lead, 5 babies in the middle and one adult bringing up the rear. Jason slammed on the brakes to avoid splattering the road with itty-bitty adorable quail guts and the line split in half; Mamma and 3 babies continuing across and Daddy and the other two aborting the road-cross.
I let fly with a stream of obscenities and, “What is wrong with you, you idiot quail?! You are terrible, horrible parents! Why wouldn’t you look before crossing the street?! There were no cars anywhere close except us and you just dash your children right out in front of our giant orange quail-killing machine?! I should call the fucking QBPC (Quail Baby Protective Services) on your feathered asses right now!”
That incident really made me worry about the intelligence of the parents in our backyard as well. I mean, really? Our yard? We have three cats and three boy children. They couldn’t find a safer backyard and plant to lay eggs under?
Also, we looked the specific breed of quail up online and it says the eggs should hatch in 21-27 days. I’m pretty sure this nest has been there longer than that. What if the lady quail’s eggs just aren’t viable? What if she’s become emotionally attached to something that’s just not going to happen for her right here, right now? I feel like I might need to find her a counselor and a support group or something.
I mean seriously, we found another nest under a different bush in our yard a couple of months ago.
We’ve never seen a quail near it and it’s clearly been abandoned. Possibly because one of our asshole cats actually took a shit on top of the bush.
A couple of days after we found that nest and the cat poop Jason did a bunch of yard work and when he was done I went to check on the nest and the cat poop was still there on top of it.
Me: Jason, why didn’t you throw the cat poop away?
Jason: I didn’t want to disturb the nest.
Me: I’m gonna take a wild guess that the cat shitting on the nest actually already disturbed the nest.
Jason: You don’t know, maybe that’s why they chose that spot. Maybe they like it.
Me: *Slowly shaking my head and now questioning the intelligence of my husband as well as the quail*
I guess we’re going to wait it out a few weeks longer before we completely give up hope and try to get the quail parents some professional grief counseling so they can deal with their loss.
I did also read that once the quail eggs hatch, the parents will scoot the babies outta there and abandon the nest within hours. If those suckers hightail it out of our back yard before I even get a glimpse of baby quail, so help me bejezus, I swear I’m not getting attached to another wild creature in my backyard again. Ungrateful bastards.