Bobwhite Quail Showed Up At My House

Discussion in 'Quail' started by reachmabry, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. reachmabry

    reachmabry Hatching

    Feb 11, 2015
    Mid Fall a male Bobwhite just showed up on my doorstep; I have no idea where he came from. At first I tried t catch him so I could bring him down to the vegetable farm my family owns, as we have a lot of barns, woods, and enclosed areas where he could hide and keep safe. But he's proven to be almost impossible to catch.
    So soon after I've given up on catching him and I started feeding him, leaving him water and he's stuck around.
    Several months later: it's the middle of winter here in New England and there's lots of snow and it's freezing at night. This bird doesn't have a flock, he's all alone, and I'm worried about him surviving the winter on his own.
    He used to go under the porch at night but now he just sits on my porch, near my door.
    I regularly leave him cracked corn and water. I also put a burlap sack on the ground and put alfalfa on top of that (near my wood pile because that's where he takes cover now) in hope's he can use that to get off the ground a little when he gets too cold.

    I guess my question is: what else can I do for this bird to make sure he gets through the next few months ok? How can I keep him warm, happy, and healthy through these hard months?

  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Wild Bobwhites live all over the US including up in New England. So this bird has no doubt adapted to the brutally cold temps and is surviving just fine. Food is fuel for birds. It serves to keep their internal furnaces stoked. So if you keep him in food, she should survive the cold. His biggest threat is predators. So hopefully he finds a safe place each night to roost and stay alive.

    Keep doing what you are doing and maybe at some point you can capture him. I know you can't go out and buy a 50 pound bag of gamebird feed for this one bird. But you might buy some wild bird seeds like finch seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, safflower seed, chicken scratch....all these seeds have vitamins added and will add to fuel his furnace. Especially the hulled sunflower seeds. All of which you can get in the bird seed section or garden sections. This mixture is better than just plain corn.

    I had a break out in one of my Bobwhite aviaries many many years ago and four of them got out. I was able to catch three of them, the forth one disappeared.

    But what I did was keep food along a fence line they seemed to be hanging around. And being that quail would rather run than fly, what I did was after they learned where the food and water was, set up a large dog crate along this fence line. I left the door open and put food and water inside. (during the day only, not at night to attract predators). I had to keep watch for a few days but when ever they were seen along this fence line and near the food, I circled around and gently ran them toward this open dog crate. I was able to catch two of them separately this way. The third one, oddly enough, let me reach down and grab him. LOL (He must have been tired and wanted to come back home. LOL)

    Now my bobs knew me and weren't afraid of me like this one might be with you. I don't know. But you might try some sort of a simple trap. However if you scare him using a trap, he may never return.

    Good luck and keep us posted! :)
    BaJa likes this.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Oh, and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
  4. Rhonda R

    Rhonda R Hatching

    Jun 14, 2017
    Hi there, I'm new to this so forgive me if I misstep. I live in Northern CA and have a new friend in my yard. I believe it's a quail but am not sure. I googled quail in my yard and found this post. :)

    The bird doesn't seem to fly and is all by itself. I'm afraid it's going to get eaten by a dog or cat and not really sure what to do? The first night we saw him he was all fluffed up on our porch, sleeping I guess... I put out some Parakeet food for it and some water, but am worried about the little guy (or girl, I've got no idea!) any help you could provide would be appreciated. Thanks!!

    Attached Files:

  5. DK newbie

    DK newbie Songster

    Apr 20, 2015
    It's a bobwhite quail male, just like the one in the top post. He might have escaped from someone near you - you could try to find out whether you have any breeders around you. You could also try twocrows' suggestion on catching him.
    I have had luck catching chickens and button quail by placing the wire top of a bird cage (the larger the better) on the ground, raising one end by putting it on something and attaching a long rope either to the cage (so I can pull it down from what it's put on when the bird enters) og to whatever is holding the cage up (so I can pull that away when the bird enters). I place the cage against something solid on one side - a fence or a house wall, for instance and then I slowly follow the bird around, 'pushing' it towards the cage. If you are too fast, it panics and flies away or runs around the cage. If you go at the right speed, it almost always enters the cage as long as the opening isn't too small - then the issue is to get the cage down before it leaves again ^^

    Should you manage to catch him, you can search this forum for tips on care and housing of bobwhite quail - but be aware he will almost certainly do best with a girlfriend, so if you don't want two quail, you might want to give him to someone who has others.
  6. Binki

    Binki Songster

    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    As for catching the bird, train them to get food in a certain spot, then put a large light cage overtop of it setting it up slanted, balanced on a stick so the quail feels comfortable going under it to peck the food.

    Then pull the rope that is attached to the stick and the cage falls over the quail, trapping it within.

    Can even be inside of your house if the rope is able to slide well underneath your door :)

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