How To Attract Quail

Ground birds that live together in small groups called coveys are known as quail. They are likely found in the south, but the Northern Bobwhite quail ranges quite far to the north. They are a game bird, prized by hunters and often sought out with bird dogs such as Brittany spaniels or pointers.

Quail habitat is disappearing quickly, restoring that habitat can help increase your local population. If feasible, save several acres and plant them with native shrubs and grasses. Rough field boundaries with woodsy dense draws catch the attention of most species of quail. Low-growing plants that provide cover as well as food are most effective. Field borders are especially vital to quail during the winter as they provide cover from winter storms. During the cold winters, quail will forage on waste grain left in the fields. Using the conservation tillage techniques will allow this food to be available to the quail during winter. Nesting and raising young normally occurs within the grassy edges of fields.

Plant a food plot if you can. A food plot is specially planted with the items that draw quail. You can contact your local conservation department for local preferences. Quail eat cracked corn, sunflower or mixed seeds and millet, spreading the seed on the ground or placing it in a low feeder will help attract them. Row crops and small grains such as wheat in rotation of each other provide a good food variety for quail.

Include a shallow pond as a good source of water fro the quail. Create safe cover near the water so the birds can get away from predators while they are wet.

Quail prefer an environment that is between 5 and 15 percent wooded or wood type brush, loosely spread about, with mostly brush type cover rather than timber. There are no areas where quail could travel farther than 100 yards from cover. The grassy plant population is dominated by native plants rather than introduced species. More than 250 clumps of native bunch grasses should exist per acre and Forbs are plentiful. The herbaceous plant population ranges between 25 and 75 percent in the canopy, with most herbaceous or grassy plants being between 10 and 20 inches tall. Approximately 30 to 60 percent of the ground is bare and free from any vegetation.

The quantity of quail habitation present on a tract of land will depend on how much of the land matches this description.


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