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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Quail and Mock Contest

Last weekend when we were at my mother's, we were able to see a little quail run across the parking lot. We were so excited because although we have heard them on our property, we had never seen one.

So today we were in for a really treat. Caitlin came to us with a quail presentation for our Wildlife meeting. The presentation was concise, yet informative. She then told us how she brought a little show and tell. We went to her car to find a pair of juvenile quail along with eggs from another's nest. The other members spent most of the afternoon looking at them!

 Some of the information she shared was:

The bobwhite’s breast, belly , rump , wings and tail are a reddish brown with black markings. The belly and flank are basically white , but the dark brown edging of the belly feathers give the belly a scaled appearance. The bobwhite quail’s bill , eyes , legs , and feet are black.

The plants that bobwhite quail like are ragweed, acorns, croton, and partridge pea sometimes sneak into peoples gardens (and are fed ) corn, grain sorghum, legumes, soybeans, and other small grains. Bugs are eaten by bobwhite quail to! They eat beetles, weevils, and caterpillars.

Bobwhite quail like a open space with tall grasses. Their nests are made of hay, grasses, mud, and twigs. 

Water requirements are generally met from food consumed, dew, or surface

Quail usually form a weak pairing bond.  Either the hen or the rooster can incubate the eggs.  Incubation is not shared.  Hens or the roosters may abandon their nests leaving their mate to incubate.  The 'freed' parent will seek a new mate and attempt to nest again.  Some hens may nest as many as three times, leaving a new mate to incubate.
Well...only in between stations, as we then went out to our mock contest.

A wildlife contest consists of 9 components:

  1. Plant ID
  2. Plant-Animal Preference
  3. Biological Facts
  4. Habitat Evaluation
  5. Habitat Management
  6. Gaming Laws
  7. Hunter Safety
  8. Techniques
  9. Compass and Pacing

We were able to complete 8 of these by the end of the day. We would have done them all but I left my computer at home with the final station!

The members did well...Next week they will find out their scores!  This will give them time to study before we compete just over a week from now.

Sidenote:  We also carried the 4H experience into the evening...more on that Friday!

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