Nature & Ecology: bobwhite Quail
“My bird feeding friend Bill Blandin spotted a visiting covey of Northern Bobwhite quail near the edge of the woods at his feeding area in February. A round-bodied, ground-dwelling bird, this quail was introduced into Washington from the eastern United States. The Seattle Audubon Society’s Bird Web page says Bobwhites are continually introduced into agricultural and low-density development areas throughout the state for hunting. You can see them almost anywhere the habitat is good; shrubby thickets adjacent to open areas such as grasslands, agriculture, roadsides, and wood edges. Bobwhites take advantage of edges created by fire, timber harvesting, and agriculture. Northern Bobwhite quail have a short life span, many live less than 1 year. This is due to the large number of animals that prey on them; including mid-sized carnivores like raccoons and coyotes. These mammalian predators constitute only one-quarter of the total predator community that prey on bobwhite quail and their nests. Hawks, owls, and other raptors frequently consume adults and juveniles throughout the year. There are also animals that may consume quail nest, eating a quail nest when they happen along one. These predators include mice, rats, squirrels and crows. Hunters also take this sporting bird in season.
At night, members of the covey roost on the ground in a circle, tails inward with their heads pointing out.”