Occasionally we find a nest that's been abandoned, and it's always so sad. I wonder what made the adult birds leave their eggs. Were they scared away by a predator? Did they build too close to the road, and get spooked by cars?
One year, a bird built a nest in the Christmas wreath that hung beside the front door. Our coming in and out of the house eventually was too much for the bird, and it abandoned its eggs. I moved the wreath to the wall of the garage, and the next year, a bird built its nest there and raised two babies.
When we mow, we try and keep an eye out for nests in the grass, but they're hard to spot. If we do find one, we leave a large area of tall grass around it, to provide some protection.
Soon it will be time to mow the pastures, before the quail are ready to nest. Then we won't mow again until fall, so the quail (and the occasional pheasant) are safe until they're ready to fly.