The Baby Quail That Follows | The Red Headed Hostess

This story must come with a fair warning…

If you are having an emotional day, you may want to come back later.

I did.  It took me over a week to even look at these pictures.


The other day I was just leaving with the intent of going to the store…

When something suddenly dashed by my feet

And I looked and saw this little guy scurrying by… afraid for his little newborn life.


Not wanting to scare him, I backed way off and put a lens on my camera that would let me seem a lot closer than he would want me to be.

And I sat and watched him for a little while.

There is something so beautiful about new life figuring out how to exist.


As I sat there watching him, I wondered where his parents were.

Last time this happened the parents were watching closely by waiting for us human types to return their baby.

But this time, there were no parents around… and I wondered to myself what I should do.


And as I was wondering this…

He gets up….

And starts moving in my direction.

“What is he doing???”  I wondered.

He comes closer and closer until he was right up next to me.

And I had to lean waaaay back to snap a picture with the lens I had on.

Shocked that this previously frightened bird had approached me – I wasn’t at all prepared for this.

So I jumped up and retrieved my other lens that was sitting on my front porch, and sat down on the steps to change it out.

And look what happens!!!

He follows me!


And he totally cuddles up to my foot!

I could have died!!

(please excuse the whiteness of my skin… I would like to say that it is the lighting… but it isn’t…)

And we became fast friends.

*Note that his wing is on my shoe.  This was a totally unexpected, heart-warming detour to my day.

As we sat there together, he happily posed for me.

And he played like any young’n does.


And he tried over and over to jump up on the step I was sitting on so he could get closer to me.

But I wouldn’t let him.  I didn’t want my human smell to make him too human-y in case his parents wouldn’t like it, which is a tip I have recently learned.


So we played

and played…

And I am pretty sure he thought my camera was part of me


Because over and over when I put my camera down on his level

He would do this.

Isn’t he beautiful?

I fell in love with him.


And I think he loved me.

I’m pretty sure he was blowing me kisses here.

Pretty soon my husband came home and he fell in love too.

And we searched on my phone and verified that this was a baby quail.

We learned that when you find a baby quail you are supposed to find its parents and set him down and back way off.

And wait.


So we brought out our search and rescue equipment

And my husband then located a mother quail in our neighbor’s yard


So we did as directed and placed him near his parents

And we backed off and sat and waited.

And waited.

And then suddenly…

This happened.

And it got on my sweater.  And my jeans.  And my ego.

And so I went inside to clean up.  And when I looked out the window, I saw another bird approach him and peck at him.

So I ran out to check on him, and something was definitely wrong.

Over time he became worse and worse and my husband and I brought him back to our porch.

And my husband held him while he died.

And I could not stand it.  Such a beautiful life – and we had bonded so…

And I felt responsible for leaving him alone… and he didn’t want to be alone.

I still can’t stand it.

However, I am glad to have known him.

Life is precious.

And beautiful.


  1. I was not having a terribly emotional day, so I went ahead and read your sweet little story. And now…. tears are pouring down my face as I type. Oh my.

    However, I’m so glad to know that for the last little bit of his short life, he was able to know love and compassion.

  2. When I had to put a sweet kitty down recently, the vet told me he could tell that he was loved in his short life, and that critters will sometimes seek out those they know will have compassion on them and “adopt” those people. What a gift to be adopted by such a sweet creature of our Father in Heaven!

  3. Thanks for sharing. I’m also glad that he was able to know love and compassion (as Heather said) in his short life. I’m sorry.

  4. Oh the value of life and how often we take it for granted. Your story has touched my heart and I will look at all the little things differently from now on.

  5. I wasn’t prepared for that! The disclaimer is definitely warranted, but I did a emotional check and thought that I could proceed without any problem…not so. I’m so glad that he was able to leave this life being held. Ok I’ve finished crying, at least enough to finish typing this… What a sweet and precious little life.

Leave a Reply