Whether you are a birdwatcher or an ornithologist, your interest will climb to a new level by discovering our Bobwhite Quails here. The Bobwhites are small galliforms found in the wildlife areas of North America, Mexico, and Cuba. Their scientific name is Colinus virginianus, and they belong to the order Galliformes, family Odontophoridae, and genus Colinus. Their habitat range includes grasslands, woodland areas, agricultural fields, roadsides, and wood edges.
They feed on seeds, herbaceous plants, insects, and such. The breeding lasts from May to August in these species. Their predators are chiefly skunks, raccoons, foxes, and opossums. They have specific defense mechanisms like feigning injury to protect themselves from predators. The mating couples build the nest, incubate and protect the offsprings together. The nest building may take up to two days to complete. Habitat loss and land degradation have led to a decline in their population. They are classified in the Near Threatened category.
Grasslands, open woodland areas, agricultural fields, roadsides, wood edges
Canada, United States, Mexico, Cuba
Bobwhite Quail Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a Bobwhite Quail?
The Bobwhite Quail is a quail species predominantly found in Northern America. The Northern Bobwhite Colinus virginianus belongs to the order Galliformes, family Odontophoridae, and genus Colinus. They are ground-dwelling in nature and quail species of smaller size. They are one of the most exhaustively studied species of game birds. They have 23 subspecies classified under them, out of which one species, namely the Key West Bobwhite, has become extinct.
What class of animal does a Bobwhite Quail belong to?
These quails are categorized in the class Aves. The class's distinct feature includes them being warm-blooded, forelimbs modified as wings, and hindlimbs adapted for walking, swimming, perching, or clasping.
How many Bobwhite Quails are there in the world?
There is no comprehensive study done to evaluate the world population of the Northern Bobwhite Quail. However, there is enough evidence to understand that there has been a steady decline in species in the second part of the 20th century. The Northern Bobwhite saw a downfall in its count by almost 80%, which is quite alarming.
Where does a Bobwhite Quail live?
The Bobwhite Quail habitat ranges from grasslands, open woodland areas, agricultural fields, wood edges, and roadsides. They live in southeastern parts of North America, Mexico, and Cuba. These species of game birds have been introduced to other parts of the world like France, China, Italy, Portugal, and the Bahamas.
What is a Bobwhite Quail's habitat?
The Bobwhites show an inclination to habitats plenty with successional vegetation, seeds, and herbaceous plants. They choose covers that provide them with ample protection from cold weather and predators, along with the availability of nesting materials. Water availability is not a critical factor in choosing a habitat to meet water requirements from dew.
Who do Bobwhite Quails live with?
The Bobwhites live in small groups called coveys, and the group size varies from 3-20. The groups are disbanded in autumn when there is the transition of members coming in and out. The Bobwhites obey the male-dominant social hierarchy system. They are sedentary and are most active during the daytime.
How long does a Bobwhite Quail live?
The Bobwhite Quails are short living animals. The maximum lifespan recorded was six years and five months for a wild Northern bobwhite. About 80% of the species do not cross one year of age. These birds succumb to extreme cold weather and contaminant exposure while feeding.
How do they reproduce?
The breeding season typically ranges from May to August. The males and females associate in nesting, laying eggs, and incubation together. The Bobwhites mating takes place in the first year of their life. The nest is made out of dry grass, and the nest is saucer-shaped, having a depression where the eggs are laid. The nest becomes a source of food for predators, and hence the success rate of each nest is only 28%.
Both the parent Bobwhites take care of the nest and incubate it when necessary. The female nest three broods for every breeding season. The females feed more on seeds and insects than the males before and during the breeding season to meet their nutritional requirements. The incubation time is around 23 days before the young one hatches and becomes independent.
What is their conservation status?
The IUCN Red list places Bobwhite Quail's conservation status in the Near Threatened category. The category implies that these species are leading to extinction in the future. These species of birds are threatened to extinction due to various factors like habitat loss and land degradation. Rapid urbanization, bushfires, and wildfires, and changes in agricultural land usage patterns are all leading to a decline in these bird species' population.
The subspecies Masked Bobwhite is classified as Endangered in the United States. Multiple programs by the Government agencies focus on the conservation of the species.
Bobwhite Quail Fun Facts
What do Bobwhite Quails look like?
Bobwhites have rounded bodies with small heads and square tails. There is a clear distinction between the adult species, with males having white stripes on the face and throat. The female birds have buffed coloration and lack black markings on the wings.
How cute are they?
Their small rounded body with the camouflaging effect makes them a cute species of bird. They are much quieter compared to other poultry breeds of birds.
How do they communicate?
They have distinct vocal communications amongst themselves. The sound behavior differs for each call, be it mating, foraging, or the threat from a predator. Other visual communication behavior happens by shaking or scratching the head, preening or feigning injury to protect themselves from predators.
How big is a Bobwhite Quail?
The Northern Bobwhite quail can grow to 11 in and a wingspan of 15 in compared to a Japanese Quail that looks tiny for a length of 4 in and a wingspan of 2 in.
How fast can a Bobwhite Quail fly?
Northern Bobwhite quail, the short flight birds, can fly at an average of 20-27 mph during the flight. The maximum speed attained is 40 mph. It is also interesting to note that five seconds is their average flight time.
How much does a Bobwhite Quail weigh?
The Northern Bobwhite Quail weighs a maximum of 9 oz. They are much heavier than the Japanese quails that weigh only 3 oz.
What are their male and female names of the species?
The adult males and the adult females of these bird species are called cock or rooster and hen, respectively. A group of quails is called a covey.
What would you call a baby Bobwhite Quail?
The baby quail is referred to as chick or cheeper. These young ones are independent at birth. The young ones feed on insects completely for meeting their food requirements.
What do they eat?
The Northern Bobwhites are known to feed on seeds, wild berries, partridge peas, cultivated grains, and insects, with 85% of their food in plant matter and 15% in animals. Seeds and legumes constitute a significant part of their food and feeding habits. The females tend to eat more insects and seeds as food than males to meet nutritional requirements during the egg-laying process. They become food to predators in the wildlife like skunks, raccoons, foxes, and opossums.
Are they dangerous?
Bobwhites are non-assuming and very docile birds and do not pose any danger to humans. The only aggression is noted when they fight for space or mates during breeding.
Would they make a good pet?
Bobwhites are very timid and quiet birds that are very easy to maintain and make a great pet. Bobwhites' space requirement is one square foot per bird. This game bird is not going to be a nuisance to your neighbors. Bobwhites can get noisy only when they feel distressed or separated from their group. One male per four to six females will have an excellent male-female ratio to maintain healthy breeding.
Bobwhites' roosters can be a handy lot to manage and keep their crowing in control; a few methods can be adopted, like darkening the cage and ensuring the males and females ratio is maintained mating calls are minimized.
Did you know...
In Georgia, the Bobwhite Quail holds the unique position of being called the State Gamebird in 1970. In Georgia Bobwhite Quail Initiative (BQI) was launched in 1999 to save these endangered birds.
Bobwhites of North America are ground-dwelling birds that can fly minimal distances for an average of five seconds. But when they feel threatened, they burst into flight mode and reach for the nearest cover.
The North American Bobwhite quail is the only smallest galliform endemic to eastern North America.
How many eggs will a Bobwhite Quail lay in a year?
The North American female Bobwhite Quail can lay up to 80 eggs in a single breeding season and 300 eggs in a year. They are bountiful breeders. The Bobwhite Quail eggs are rich in proteins and don't carry many calories, making it a healthy diet option.
What does a Bobwhite Quail sound like?
The Bobwhite Quail is called so for the typical Bobwhite Quail call produced by it, which sounds like 'bob-white' or 'bob-bob-white.' These sound syllables are wide apart and slow rising in pitch slowly. These sounds are not noisy like that of roosters or ducks. The Bobwhite call can also be in distinct sounds like rapid whistles, lisps, and peeps.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds, including secretary bird, or common kingfisher.
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