I was out picking tomatoes and strawberries this evening, and doing a bit of garden cleanup. The dogs, Annie and Otto, were chasing quail through the squash patch. I wasn't concerned about it, as they aren't the fastest little fat dogs around, and the quail had plenty of cover in that jungle of vines. It wasn't until I was bent over the strawberry bed, and a little puffball came running right across my foot, that I realized the quail had their tiny babies in the garden. I turned around to find Otto, and he was standing there with a dead baby bird in his mouth. I pried it loose, grabbed him by the collar and tried to drag him toward the house. On the way, I noticed Annie chewing on something, and sure enough, she had consumed most of another tiny quail. I finally pulled both dogs into the house, yelling at Mr. Granny to get the pet door locked. Then I had to go back out and place the two little bodies in a container for burial.
I gave the quail time to gather the surviving babies and move them out of the yard before letting the dogs back out. Annie immediately ran out to the area near the strawberries, and picked up something in her mouth. I made her drop it, and it was another baby bird part. I don't know if it was from the bird she'd had earlier, or if they killed more than two.
It wasn't the dogs' fault, they were doing what animals do. It was my fault for not paying more attention to the adult quail. I should have realized he would have flown out of the garden if he hadn't been trying to protect his young. It was a sad day for the quail mom and dad, and a sad day in Granny's garden.
Oh Granny! I am so sorry to hear about the sad news in your garden.ReplyDelete
I'm so sad for the birdies, but I'm pretty impressed that tubby puppy can move that fast.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear about the baby quail Granny. As much as I am happy when the cats kill voles and bunnies in the garden. There are occasional casualties that are rather upsetting.ReplyDelete
I understand the emotion. Having two outdoor cats can sometimes lead into those events. I amalways really angry at them for the moment of discovery but quickly realize it IS what animals do - human animals too.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry. Did the parents & remaining babies move out permanently? Sometimes is not obvious to us that young are living in our spaces, and dogs are all to happy to seek out 'baby anything'.ReplyDelete
Oh Granny, how sad for the little ones and heartbreaking for you to experience. Hopefully this will be a lesson learned for the quail mom and dad. They need to be more careful.ReplyDelete
Thanks to all for letting me whine on your shoulders.ReplyDelete
Robin, baby bunnies would break my heart. Rodents not so much.
Johanna, that's how I felt. The dogs sensed my anger and seemed confused.
Kelly, the quail family lives next door at Pat's, where she keeps a large stack of old branches in the corner of her yard. They come into my yard nearly every day, but the dogs are usually in the house. My timing was just bad, not realizing the babies were in the garden when I went out, as the dogs always follow me. I didn't realize they had a new batch of babies, or I'd have been more careful about giving them their space.
Sorry for the quail casualty in your garden, Granny. Sometimes it's really hard to believe that our cute and cuddly pet dogs can be such vicious killers "in the wild."ReplyDelete
I have had a similar experience with baby bunnies and one of our dogs who is no longer with us. What made it worse is that baby bunnies scream when injured or in peril and that made the situation even more distressing. Sorry for the quail baby losses. Hopefully they were dispatched quickly and did not suffer.ReplyDelete
Um....what seems to be the problem with that??? I would have gotten all of them, then had quail kabobs on the grill. Ha! Don't worry, I won't tell anyone you're an accessory to quail murder...heheReplyDelete
I can relate! Mama Dove has taken to perching by the back door again to "watch for us"!ReplyDelete
Thyme2 & Kitsap, yes it's difficult to see it happen with my dogs, who love everybody. Of course, Otto did snarl at Bandit last week. I guess he could show some emotion, besides tail wagging and smiling, if provoked. Or if something small runs from him.ReplyDelete
EG, that's a terrible thing to say! I guess I just have more compassion toward defenseless baby birds than you do. Maybe it's a "mother" thing.
Erin, I was so sad for Mama Dove, then the same thing happens here, only twice as bad.
That is sad, but you are so right that the dogs are only doing what dogs do, especially dogs that were bred to be hunters.ReplyDelete
Villager, but...but...but....they were bred to hunt big ugly badgers, not darling baby quail. Although I'd hate to have to dispose of the remains of a big ugly badger. I'd probably be disposing of the remains of two little fat dogs instead!ReplyDelete
Oh how sad. It happens, but its so sad when it does.ReplyDelete
sounds like you had a crazy day! At least you saved a few of them! Poor little things!ReplyDelete
So sorry that happened...for you and the birds. It's difficult to witness something like that.ReplyDelete
That is sad for the birds, but I bet Annie and Otto felt very true to their hunting dog natures. . .ReplyDelete
Poor birds. I hope the rest of the baby birds survive well and able to grow into adult birds. Don't blame yourself, Gran. It's the nature of the dogs. It's not your fault.ReplyDelete
J.C., I do feel at least partially at fault. I should have known, by the way the father quail was acting, that it was more than just Otto chasing the adult quail from the yard. It was a lesson learned by me.ReplyDelete