Bobwhite Quail: Description, Distribution, & Fun Facts

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Bobwhite Quail: All You Need To Know

Bobwhite quail is a Native American species, belonging to the kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, class Aves, family Odontophoridae and order Galliformes. The genus name of this species is Colinus and the species name is virginianus.

It is also known as the Northern Bobwhite, simple bobwhite and Virginia quail. As it makes noise to lure the other gender, thus known as bobwhite.

Bobwhite Quail

There are around 23 species of quail, which are found from Caribbean to Canada. The quails are dimorphic and the neck of the male is identified by white patches and females neck color is beige in color, which helps in camouflaging. To lure a female, male will dance and perform various stunts to attract the other one.

The mating occurs in the summer and spring, where they will one by one protect the eggs, present in the nest, as they can be hunted by other predators and even disrupt the nest. Within a year, they lay around 3 nests and reproduce offspring.

Hatching, Farming and Hunting Bobwhite Quail

There are various farmers, which domesticate these quails for selling purpose. The sellers are known as canned hunts and are quite famous in various countries. Bobwhite quail are seen in New Zealand and Europe.

Bobwhite Quail

If the eggs are not disrupted, the hatching will be done in 23 days. After hatching their obtain nutrition from the parent. At one time, quail lays 80 eggs, during the season which can also be artificially incubated. Thus, making them excellent breeders.

However, they cannot be liberated into the surroundings exterior to the North America as it could result in competition. Studying their behaviour and interactions, scientist can determine how much they can damage they can cause on the environment.

Interesting Insights of Bobwhite Quail

The various fun facts of Bobwhite quail are as follows:

i. Conservation and Hunting

The beneficial and detrimental effects of Bobwhite quail can be studied. As these species are quite resourceful, they are bred so as to meet the hunter’s demand and make sure that they aren’t bygone.

Similarly, addition of these species into a new environment can imbalance the ecosystem. For instance, if they consume all the resources, other animals might suffer. If these species are placed in an environment, where a particular species is at the verge of being extinct, thus, they could completely extinct the endangered one.

ii. Faking Injury to Distract Predators

If the nest of the bobwhite quail is at risk, the parents will distract the hunters by behaving as if they are wounded and will take support and will stand on a wing. Thus, they will leave the nest and go capture the parent who is injured.

Once the predator is at quite a huge distance then it will take the nest and fly off. This type of distraction method and escaping is seen in various other ground birds. However, other birds will directly attack the predators as they don’t have defense system. Thus, this strategy helps them to survive and continue their lineage.

iii. Precocial Young

Humans babies are not precocial as they take years to mature as adults. However, in animals this is not the case, because they are almost developed, but smaller and yet to mature a bit. The chickens after hatching, start to walk and before the eggs hatching they interact with the parents, from the shells.

Before the hatching their legs are strong enough to run and walk. Although flying does takes few weeks. Similar to them, various other nest birds, reproduce precocial young.

Bobwhite Quail Citations
  • Molecular characterization of quail bronchitis virus isolated from bobwhite quail in Minnesota. Poult Sci . 2016 Dec 1;95(12):2815-2818.
  • Complete Blood Cell Count and White Blood Cell Counting Method Comparison in 49-day-old Bobwhite Quail ( Colinus virginianus). J Avian Med Surg . 2020 Jul 21;34(2):132-141.
  • Life-cycle of Oxyspirura petrowi (Spirurida: Thelaziidae), an eyeworm of the northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). Parasit Vectors . 2019 Nov 21;12(1):555.
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