Wait! Er, there's a quail on my porch.

When I got home from trivia night last night, as I pulled into the driveway, I saw what looked like a fuzzy little football sitting on my front porch.

Me: :confused:

I get out and go over to see what it is. Local kid’s toy? Giant fast-growing mushroom?

Nope. It’s a medium-sized brownish bird, huddled up into a ball. Pattern of feathers looks like a quail, but I’ve never seen one hunkered down like this, and I’ve certainly never encountered a quail that’ll let me walk right up to it.

Me: :confused: :confused:

So I’m standing right there, bending over, my face maybe a foot away from it, whispering: Hey there. What are you doing on my porch? Are you okay?

The little black eye adjusts a tiny bit as if it’s looking at me, so I know it isn’t dead, but the bird doesn’t move.

I touch the wing. No response. I poke it in the middle of its back. Nothing.

I’m thinking: So, what am I supposed to do now? I suppose the animal control people will be interested in this, because sick birds, especially quail (if that’s what this is), displaying odd behavior in urban areas can be indicators of disease and other problems.

And then, scoot! — suddenly the bird dashes forward and sails off the edge of the porch, belly-flopping into the flower bed. And stops again.

By this time, the cat has come out the front door, and of course is interested in whatever it is I’m interested in. So I go take another look, and this time I poke the bird in the tail, keeping the cat away with my foot. The bird jumps out of the flower bed and skitters across the lawn: and now I can definitely see it’s a quail.

Eventually it disappeared into the shrubbery bordering my neighbor’s hard, and I picked up the cat and brought him inside, but it’s still weird. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quail actually in the city before. Edge of the suburbs, sure. Just not where I live.

And hunkered down on my porch, no less.

(Of course, now I’m thinking, Great, I gave myself West Nile by messing with a strange bird that’s someplace it shouldn’t be and that’s displaying nonstandard behavior. Heh heh.)

This mundane and pointless encounter with unusual urban wildlife has been brought to you by a fat little bird with a bobbing head and a funny gait. :slight_smile:

Sounds like a baby who hasn’t quite mastered the art of flying.

I’ll take the quail over the fat assed racoon that was in my front yard last night.

I’ll see your racoon and raise you a possum.

It could have flown into a window, too. If they aren’t killed by it, sometimes it can take some time for them to recover.

Bobwhite quail will go into a “trance” as a defense mechanism against predators, too. I used to hypnotize them as a demonstration of instinctive behaviors for my intro psych class.

Woohoo, I’m pokin’ the quail like an urban guy!

Just had to one-up my groundhog, didn’t you? :mad:

I live in a suburb of Boston - but definitely a “city” neighborhood - and there was a wild turkey in the yard next door a few weeks ago. A coupla times he flew straight up into one of my trees. I think there was a cat below, scaring him.

At least it wasn’t the mountain lion that supposedly has been prowling around the area too. (Okay, so Animal Control says it’s probably a Golden Retriever. A few months back, some idiot shot a housecat, thinking it was the mountain lion.)

I have a friend who has had a peacock living in her yard for more than a year. He seems to like it there and won’t leave.

Heh. We got a duck in the shrubbery immediately outside the front door to our office that’s decided it was good place to nest a couple weeks ago. She’s sitting on four eggs right now that should be hatching in 10 or 12 days. Kinda weird since there’s no open body of water bigger than a rain puddle for a pretty fair distance. State of Ohio DNR says it’s illegal to disturb or move the nest, so we’ve just been putting out a small dish of water for her since it has been so damned hot here. And waiting. Gonna hafta remember to bring the camera to work soon to get some pics of ducking row waddling across the parking lot some morning. Hope the local stray cats don’t get 'em.

Lightweights! Around here we get gators and bears. :smiley:

I’ll take your gator if you take my skunks.

Anyone want coyotes and mojave green rattlesnakes?


I guess I’ll keep the bastards, then.

I want opossums!

I was going to gripe about the skunk in my yard, but I guess I don’t feel quite so upset about that now. :stuck_out_tongue:

There’s a place in the world that doesn’t have possums? Hey, send me shipping and handling…

On second thought, never mind, I don’t want to handle possums.

For some reason this made me want to write a country song. I wish I could sing the melody for you.

I had a snapping turtle that weighed about 15 or 20 pounds in my front yard 2 weeks ago.

I got them thar yotes and greens too, but I also got too many wabbits eating my lawn and crapping black pills.

Oh, and then there are those ravens who feast on those rats with wings…my personal favorite!

For the OP: You missed out on good eatn’s! I’m going to the shop tomorrow to pick me up some domestic quail to roast. So tiny, so flavorful!

Oh, and quail…they’re all over the place here…got a front yard clutch (I thing that’s the group name) and a back yard clutch.

I was gonna suggest you throw a potatoe at it…