Northern bobwhite quails are medium-sized birds with round bodies, short tails and short necks. Their plumage is reddish-brown with white and gray streaks. Bobwhites are named for their distinctive “bob-white” call.
Bobwhite quails feed and roost in coveys of 8 to 25 birds. They forage on the ground for seeds, insects, fruits and plants. Females lay 12 to 16 eggs in a shallow nest built on the ground hidden beneath vegetation. Adults measure about 10 inches from the tip of beak to tail.
This quail is found throughout most of Florida except the southern tip. Muted plumage makes them hard to spot in their preferred habit of grassy fields and pine woods. Pesticide use and loss of habitats are contributing factors to the decline in northern bobwhite quail numbers. Its conservation status is “near threatened.”
Fun Fauna Fact: Northern bobwhite quails are the only galliform (an order of ground-feeding birds that includes turkey, pheasant, chickens, peafowl and more) native to eastern North America.
Read the full November 2020 SECO News online.