Northern Bobwhite Quail
|Geographical Range||North America, Central America, West Indies, Cuba|
|Habitat||Brushy fields, farmlands, thickets, woodland edges|
|Scientific Name||Colinus virginianus|
|Conservation Status||Near threatened|
This small, plump quail is named for the male's familiar two-note call, which sounds to some like he is calling "bob-white." Like other quails, bobwhites require a mixed habitat: open areas where they can forage for food, as well as brush, tall grass or other cover where they can hide.
Bobwhites are ground birds. Though they can fly, they only take to the air to flee danger. They even nest on the ground, by scratching a depression among tall grasses and lining it with dead plant matter. They are primarily seed-eaters, but also feed on fruits, other plant matter, insects and snails.
Quail are social birds that live in groups called "coveys." A covey usually includes from 10 to 30 birds, which forage for food together and roost together overnight.
Bobwhites have the widest range of any quail species -- from Canada to southern Mexico -- and have been introduced to Hawaii and New Zealand as a game species. Game farms raise thousands of these birds each year for release in the United States and Canada.