Date: 6/12/19 2:37 pm From: Joseph Neal <joeneal...> Subject: Northern Bobwhites at Maysville
Fifty years ago, who would have thought bobwhites even seriously worthy of mention. The hardy few people lead by Doug James who participated on the first Christmas Bird count in Fayetteville in 1961 tallied 57 bobwhites. The count was over 100 on 11 CBCs through 1994, then plummeted, reaching 0 for the first time in 1996. So I wonder as you read this, did anyone see a bobwhite today, or even hear one? (European Starling mimics don’t count). David Oakley and I were at Maysville in northwest Benton County today. We heard several calling bobwhites while slow-driving Leonard Ranch Road east of Maysville. This is a region of expansive hayfields and pastures. Big prairie-like horizons. Then, an adult female and male walked across the road in front of us. It was so exciting and gratifying. They might just have well been Greater Prairie-Chickens. There are bobwhites elsewhere around northwest Arkansas, like Chesney Prairie Natural Area, but the experience of living in a world with a good supply of Colinus virginianus seems to be receding. We have become a lot wealthier in terms of homes, cars, and entertainment, but a lot poorer when it comes to Northern Bobwhites. In my view, this is a poor trade. I’m not saying I want to live in a shack and ride a horse, but surely we can manage our footprint on Earth in a way more positive. Do we just have to keep doing this “stuff” no matter the consequences and losses?