This month we had an opportunity to do a similar call to the one that started us on our non profit journey.

The caller had witnessed quail chicks falling into a storm drain through the grate on Friendly Street in Eugene. She was unable to lift the grate to rescue the distressed birds herself and called our hotline.

We arrived on scene to assess the situation and discovered four baby quail chicks were far below street level, in the drain. Once we removed the cover, we worked as a team to remove the four chicks. The caller was feeling unsure, that she thought there had been five that fell. The pipe at the bottom travels vertically and slightly down at the start and we couldn’t leave without somehow checking.

With a little creativity we were able to look down and see the stranded chick had slid down about three feet into the runoff pipe. Using a make-shift scoop with a thick hoop wire, we gently pulled it within reach.

Unfortunately by the time we arrived the mom had disappeared. We let the babies call for a time but they were cold and stressed so we eventually bundled them up for temporary care until we found a suitable home. Two days later we were able to coordinate getting them to a farm with many other quail so they can be raised as naturally as possible without parents.

These little quail could never have navigated this situation of urban infrastructure without the heroic work of humans, namely our caller, who was not only insistent on remembering 5 chicks, but also surprised us by entering the drain of her own volition without hesitation to aid the rescue.

We really appreciate her reaching out to us and we encourage everyone to notice wildlife around you and be aware of the dangers they face, particularly in our beautifully forested county and cities.