Northern Bobwhite: Colinus virginianus
The Northern bobwhite is a medium-sized, round-bodied bird with
a short tail and neck. Plumage is reddish brown with streaking on
the sides. Males have a black-and-white face pattern; in females it
Northern bobwhites occur throughout Florida in appropriate
habitat. In addition to mature upland forests, the best habitats
include fallow agricultural fields dominated by such species as
ragweed, and the edges of cultivated grain fields. The best
combination is probably a combination of agriculture, without
excessive weed control, interspersed throughout regularly burned
mature pine forest. At one time, this was a very common habitat in
Florida and abundant quail populations were a by-product of an
extensive land use pattern in Florida. This is not the case today
and quail occur in abundant numbers only on those lands which are
intensively managed to replicate the land use patterns described
The Northern bobwhite, sometimes called bobwhite quail, is one
of the signature species of upland long leaf pine forests. Visitors
to these habitats can expect to hear the males make the tell tale
whistled call - bobwhite - and it's not uncommon to be surprised by
a sudden explosion of birds as a covey of quail flushes from a
Bobwhites feed and roost in flocks (coveys) of 8 to 25 birds.
They hunt on the ground in search of fruits, seeds, insects and
plant parts. Females lay 12-16 eggs in a shallow nest built on the
ground and hidden beneath vegetation.
- Strategic Plan for
Northern Bobwhite Restoration in Florida
- South Florida Quail
Project - The Southeast Quail Study Group (SEQSG) is comprised
of over 100 wildlife professionals from state and federal agencies,
universities and private organizations.
Quail Study Group - The south Florida bobwhite restoration
project on rangelands is a collaborative effort between the
following institutions: Tall Timbers Research Station, Inc.,
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
- CP 33:
Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds - The United States Department
of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency has introduced a new
conservation practice under the continuous Conservation Reserve
Program intended to create 2,800 acres of habitat for the northern
bobwhite quail in 21 Florida counties.