The Rose and the Birds

Chapter 1

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  We noticed that when Rose was working in the garden and the birds were busy hunting bugs, that they would stay in the perimeter of the garden. We guessed that was because the area around the garden was short grass and the quail felt safer in the garden which had good cover.

  Being with the birds every day, Rose noted and identified six different calls and sounds they would make. The ones I remember she told me were,

   A gathering call, usually quite loud.

   A danger call, not as loud and quit short.

   A mating call, Rose had a hard time identifying this one until a Bobwhite answered.

   A greeting sound, quiet and short.

   A “found food” sound, not a loud sound but obviously a happy sound.

   A “settle down for the night” sound, a quiet sound.

  There were several other sounds they made but Rose was not able to ID them. It was interesting when we identified the mating call. One of the birds was making this loud call that Rose could not ID yet, when a Bob White in the wild answered. We were both standing in the garden as our bird “Red” kept calling and the Bob White kept answering.

  Finally we seen the Bob White across the field  in the grass. Then the Bob White flew over to the garden and landed no more than 5 foot from Rose and I. The Bob White kept an eye on us but didn’t seem too afraid of us. We have had wild quail come up in the yard many times but we could never get within 50 foot of them before. Here was a wild quail only 5 feet from us and we were not quiet and still.

  We guessed that it was the calmness of our quail around us that made the wild bird calm. Rose decided to test how close she could get so she slowly moved toward the Bob White. She got within 3 foot of the bird and the wild bird took off.

  All of our birds were female so we decided to try to capture a Bob White and try to get them to mate. So we set up a trap of a home made wire cage with a small cage inside where we placed Red as she seemed to do most of the calling.

  I just tilted the larger cage up with a stick to hold it up and tied a long piece of string to the stick. Rose just went about her work in the garden and I was working on a car in the garage. It didn’t take long before Red started calling and here come a Bob White. We couldn’t tell if it was the one that came up a few days earlier or not. The wild bird stayed close and finally went in under the large cage and Rose pulled the string and we caught the Bob White. The wild bird was frantic and we were afraid he would hurt himself but he finally settled down to just pacing the cage.  We slid a thin board under the big cage and that way we were able to carry the cage up to the house.

  I fabricated a second cage like the one we kept our quail in and we turned the big cage over so the board was on top and with a small piece of blanket

I slid the board back as Rose took the blanket and forced it in against the Bob White so she could catch him. This worked with only a short bit of frantic flapping of wings. Rose held the Bob White for a while but you could see the bird was terrified. Rose put the bird in the second cage and we set our birds next to the wild bird hopping that would calm him down.

  We left them like that for all of that day and a second day. However, the wild bird would not settle down and each time one of our birds moved too quick or stretched a wing, the wild bird would have a panic attack. We decided this was never going to work so we released the bird. 


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