A Man and Some Birds- The Red Headed Hostess

Due to some recent events…

Of which I am currently working on the post to share with you…
I thought I would re-post this story which I told you a year back.
In fact exactly a year back.  June 8th, one year ago today.  I guess that is how mother-nature works.
I will be back to share what just happened.  Similar to this story… but more heart-touching for certain.
My husband and I usually pull in from work around the same time, and today we were just seconds apart – but little did we know that we were about to embark on a great humanitarian adventure.
After we said our hellos, I went to the side of our house to water my wilting flowers and I noticed a baby bird running and hiding under my honeysuckle.    I look around for mom or dad and I saw a male quail calling for him – that must be the papa!   The baby responding to the father runs off and I quietly followed him and saw that there was an entire little family of quails behind our shed.  When the parents saw me approach they both flew off and watched from a small distance which made me feel incredibly guilty that I was causing a family distress, so I returned to my previous task and went to water my flowers.
Luck would have it that as I leaned over to turn on the water, I saw that 2 little baby quails had fallen down the pipe where we turn the water valve on and off.  They must have just fallen in because this had been near where I had seen the previous baby quail.  So I ran in and got my husband and some search and  rescue equipment.
A bowl and some spoons
My husband became a kid again.  I could easily imagine how he had been 20 years ago growing up in Cache Valley where he was surrounded by acres and acres of land and many species of wildlife.  He took the spoon of his choice and carefully lifted them out with obvious past experience in such matters.
He was careful not to hurt their fragile wings.
Look – you can see the birds reflection in the spoon
Is that a look of relief?  That his life is no longer going to end in a water valve pipe?
Its not often you get such a close up look at baby birds.  Or any wild birds.
Look at his feet!  He’s got some claws.
Or she.  How do you know?
Now it is time to return them to their parents.  But when we walked back to where I had last seen them, they were no longer there.  Where had they gone?  Had they abandoned their youngsters?
So our adventure continues – – and  we start treking through our yard in searching for their family —
And then…
There is the dad!  And just around that corner is the mom and if you look closely you can see some fuzzy little spots just by the bush.  Those are more little birdies.
So we approach with caution and they all dart behind the bush to escape the giant people.
And we carefully place the birds in front of the family’s current residence.
And then suddenly…
The father abandons the family.  Shame.
Understanding that we were rather threatening to this little family of birds, -we backed away, sat down and watched with anticipation
One of the babies immediately ran into the bush to join the rest of the mom and other babies.   But one just sat there.  Confused.
And we watched.  We watched the father return to claim his lost son.  (Or daughter).  Good job dad!
And he talks to his baby.
And then out runs another of his children and he greets them too.
And then another comes out.  And they start on a walk together.
Then he stops and 2 of the babies crawl under him.  And he protects them.  Except for one.
And he gets up, but it doesn’t seem like the 2 who had been safely under his belly wanted him to leave.
Now watch what the dad does
Ummmm…  not going to happen
Let’s try another plan
That is a better idea.
The little guy in the back is one that we saved.  No wonder he fell in the pipe.  Keep up little guy!
  Oooooh…. Look how they stopped to wait for him.   That is what family is for.
Then the dad spots another group of bushes.  Did you know that quail nest on the ground?
And they go off and live happily ever after.
But wait!
Look what we found in the bushes where they had just come from.  This little guy had fallen down a window well.
Sheesh.  Our yard is dangerous territory.
So Mr. Wonderful saves the day again.
That little bird was just shaking he was so scared
Hello.  You are now safe.
Where is your mother?
We set him down so that he could run to where his mother is
And he sits there
And inches forward a bit.  And then sits there again.
Then he runs for it
You are almost there!
But he stops.  What is the matter little one?  Mother is no longer there.  She has left!  How could she leave?
How alone he must feel.
So we take him over to where dad and the 3 other little ones are and drop him just outside of that bush
And he dashes in.
And they live happily ever after.
We hope.


  1. Hey Shannon,

    Your mom gave me your web address in church yesterday. I am supposed to be looking for stuff for Primary, but saw this and was amazed. It must be baby chick time. I just saw a little family last week. I love one of the last photographs where the little guy is in full stride.

    Anyway, you are one busy gal to do all this work.


  2. Thank you so much for the beautiful story with such a happy ending. Your photography is spectacular. I can’t wait to share this with my 11 year old granddaughter. I’m sure she will be as touched as I was. I want you to know that I look eagerly each day to see what treasures I will find on your website. You offer inspiration and provide encouragement that leads me to study my scriptures in new and exciting ways! I have not fallen down a pipe or window well – however – I feel as though you are just as instrumental in helping me return to my Heavenly Father. Thank you for leading me toward the road to an Eternal Home.

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