We have some quail that have decided to raise a family in our backyard.
The kids and I are thrilled!
The Papa Quail sits up on a high perch--usually the fence--and watches over his brood carefully. If any of us get too close, he sounds the alarm.
Mama Quail is constantly hussling babies along--or hiding with them.
Can you see her? They blend in so well.
She's got one baby next to her in this picture, and there's one more at the bottom middle of the picture.
They seem to prefer the back flowerbed and the back slope: both places with excellent cover, so that makes sense.
Those babies are so darn cute!
Here's one that was exploring the garden.
There are at least 9 of them, but there may be more.
We want to gather them all up and pet their soft little heads, but have to content ourselves with watching from afar.
Except for this little one, whom my daughter named Pipsqueak.
He got separated from the rest of the family.
They were all up to the top of the slope and even in the top neighbor's yard, and he was stuck down by our shed, awkwardly hop-running along, peeping.
Papa Quail was on the fence, calling and calling.
After some discussion, we decided to help him out.
My daughter put on a gardening glove--in hopes of not getting as much human scent on him--and gently scooped him up and put him into a 4-inch pot.
Then she carried him up to the top of the slope and slowly tipped the pot on its side.
After a few minutes, little Pipsqueak hopped out, and ducked under the fence to join his brothers and sisters. As soon as they were reunited, Papa Quail hopped down off the fence.
It is just about the best thing ever to see this little family scurrying around our yard!