Bobwhite Quail

Taxobox
name = Northern Bobwhite



image_width = 200px
image_caption = Adult male
status = NT
status_system = iucn3.1
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
subclassis = Neornithes
infraclassis = Neognathae
superordo = Galloanserae
ordo = Galliformes
familia = Odontophoridae
genus = "Colinus"
species = "C. virginianus"
binomial = "Colinus virginianus"
binomial_authority = (Linnaeus, 1758)
subdivision_ranks = Subspecies
subdivision = About 2 dozen

The Northern Bobwhite, Virginia Quail or (in its home range) Bobwhite Quail ("Colinus virginianus") is a ground-dwelling bird native to North America and northern Central America and the Caribbean. It is a member of the group of species known as New World quails (Odontophoridae). They were initially placed with the Old World quails in the pheasant family (Phasianidae), but are not particularly closely related. The name "bobwhite" derives from its characteristic whistling call.

Description

Northern Bobwhites are distinguished by a dark cap stripe behind the eye along the head, black in males and brown in females. The area in between is white on males and yellow-brown on females. The body is brown, speckled in places with black or white on both sexes, and average weight is five to six ounces (145-200 grams).

The Northern Bobwhite's song is a rising, clear whistle, "bob-White!" or "bob-bob-White!" The call is most often given by males in spring and summertime. Other vocalizations include a range of squeaky whistles.

[http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/Song/h2890so.mp3 Virginia Quail's "bob-White!" song]

Ecology

This fowl primarily inhabits areas of early successional growth dominated by various species of pine, hardwood, woody, and herbaceous growth. However, quail habitat varies greatly throughout its range which extends from Mexico east to Florida and north into the Upper Midwest and Northeast. In the southern U.S., pearl millet has been identified as a preferred food source for Bobwhite Quail.

It forms what are known as "coveys", groups of five to 30 birds, during the non-breeding season (roughly October-April). During the breeding season, typically beginning in mid-April, the Bobwhite coveys dissolve. Social pairs are typically formed between individuals of unknown relationship. These social pairings potentially result in the formation of a mate bond and subsequent female fertilization and egg formation. Eggs are laid at a rate of approximately 1 per day, and they hatch after 23 days. Eggs are normally white in color with a more pointed end than normal chicken eggs.

Both males and females can incubate nests, with most nests predominantly incubated by females. If the first clutch of eggs is unsuccessful, a breeding pair (may be the same pair or a different pair as that which led to the previous nesting attempt) will attempt to lay, incubate, and hatch additional clutches. If the clutch is successful, chicks are precocial and will leave the nest approximately 24 hours following hatching. The breeding season continues until mid-October, and successful nesters (females) can potentially lay, incubate, and hatch up to 3 clutches.

The Bobwhite Quail is a popular and economically important gamebird, particularly in the US Southern States. It is the official game bird of the U.S. States of Tennessee, Georgia, and Washington. Habitat degradation threatens wild populations, so it is propagated in captivity in large numbers for release on hunting preserves or natural areas as required by US wildlife agencies. It is moderately resilient to hunting pressure, and locally can disappear entirely from overhunting, as has occurred time and again [E.g. Strong (1898)] . It is also found in many aviaries and is on display in some zoos.

If a bobwhite quail is stationary, it is nearly impossible to see (in a forest). This coat of camo is important because quail are heavily preyed upon. Foxes, coyotes, racoons, possums, hawks, owls, and humans eat quail.

Footnotes

References

*|year=2004|id=54207|title=Colinus virginianus|downloaded=11 May 2006 Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is near threatened
* (1989): North Greenfield, Wis.. "Wilson Bull." 10(5): 70. [http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Wilson/DJVU/v010n05/P0070-P0070.djvu DjVu fulltext] [http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Wilson/v010n05/p0070-p0070.pdf PDF fulltext]

External links

* [http://www.itis.usda.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=175863 ITIS Standard Report Page: Colinus virginianus taxonomic details (includes subspecies) ]
* [http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/StratfordLandingES/Ecology/mpages/northern_bobwhite.htm Northern Bobwhite] Additional information, pictures, sound and video clips
* [http://www.gamebird.com/bobwhite.html Aspects of the natural history, economic importance, and propagation of the bobwhite quail.]
* [http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Northern_Bobwhite.html Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Northern Bobwhite]
* [http://www.gbwf.org/quail/bobwhite.html gbwf.org - Northern Bobwhite]
* [http://www.sdakotabirds.com/species/northern_bobwhite_info.htm South Dakota Birds and Birding - Northern Bobwhite]
* [http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i2890id.html USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter - Northern Bobwhtie]
* [http://www.bird-stamps.org/cspecies/3701000.htm Stamps]
* [http://www.qu.org/content/habitat/nbci/index.cfm The Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bobwhite quail — noun a popular North American game bird; named for its call • Syn: ↑bobwhite, ↑partridge • Hypernyms: ↑quail • Hyponyms: ↑northern bobwhite, ↑Colinus virginianus …   Useful english dictionary

  • Quail hunting plantation — A Quail hunting plantation is a large tract of land typically with a natural wooded and grass habitat for the purpose of recreational hunting of bobwhite quail. RangeQuail hunting plantations are found throughout the southern United States from… …   Wikipedia

  • bobwhite — /ˈbɒbwaɪt/ (say bobwuyt) noun any quail of the genus Colinus of North and Central America, such as the northern bobwhite, C. virginianus, bred as a game bird. Also, bobwhite quail. {imitative of the bird s call} …   Australian English dictionary

  • bobwhite — noun a popular North American game bird; named for its call • Syn: ↑bobwhite quail, ↑partridge • Hypernyms: ↑quail • Hyponyms: ↑northern bobwhite, ↑Colinus virginianus …   Useful english dictionary

  • Quail — Quail, n. [OF. quaille, F. caille, LL. quaquila, qualia, qualea, of Dutch or German origin; cf. D. kwakkel, kwartel, OHG. wahtala, G. wachtel.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any gallinaceous bird belonging to {Coturnix} and several allied genera… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quail call — Quail Quail, n. [OF. quaille, F. caille, LL. quaquila, qualia, qualea, of Dutch or German origin; cf. D. kwakkel, kwartel, OHG. wahtala, G. wachtel.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any gallinaceous bird belonging to {Coturnix} and several allied… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quail dove — Quail Quail, n. [OF. quaille, F. caille, LL. quaquila, qualia, qualea, of Dutch or German origin; cf. D. kwakkel, kwartel, OHG. wahtala, G. wachtel.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any gallinaceous bird belonging to {Coturnix} and several allied… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quail hawk — Quail Quail, n. [OF. quaille, F. caille, LL. quaquila, qualia, qualea, of Dutch or German origin; cf. D. kwakkel, kwartel, OHG. wahtala, G. wachtel.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any gallinaceous bird belonging to {Coturnix} and several allied… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quail pipe — Quail Quail, n. [OF. quaille, F. caille, LL. quaquila, qualia, qualea, of Dutch or German origin; cf. D. kwakkel, kwartel, OHG. wahtala, G. wachtel.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any gallinaceous bird belonging to {Coturnix} and several allied… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quail snipe — Quail Quail, n. [OF. quaille, F. caille, LL. quaquila, qualia, qualea, of Dutch or German origin; cf. D. kwakkel, kwartel, OHG. wahtala, G. wachtel.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any gallinaceous bird belonging to {Coturnix} and several allied… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”