Date: 6/12/19 5:01 pm
From: James Morgan <jlmm...>
Subject: Re: Northern Bobwhites at Maysville
Heard a couple of Bobwhites on Mt Magazine on the day before Memorial
day (Brown Springs trail)y.  First time in years I have tallied a
bobwhite.  Probably 10-15 years here in Arkansas.

With the exception of a couple of Bobwhites hadn't seen any in our farm
area. About 10 years a couple of times saw a few uail early in the
summer season about a mile from the farm followed by observing some high
school boys hunting that row of trees three months   later, haven't seen
Bobwhites since in our farm area. 10 years before that, used to have a
covey that went through our yard in the fall, winter mornings feasting
on the scratch I put out below the bird feeders and then late afternoon
just before roosting time. it was almost clockwork for many months. Then
my neighbors feral & I mena feral chickens starting abusing the feeders
and tearing them down and I quit putting out the scratch and the quail
disappeared due to loss of supplemental scratch, my grazing more of the
area or miscellaneous reasons

The semi-feral chickens were amazing. The neighbor said I could harvest
them since they were a nuisance to my bird feeders .. They could be 10
yards from door. If I opened the door with the safety off my shot gu. By
the time I could raise my shot gun, they were 30 yards and moving fast
Tastiest chicken we have ever eaten (year old).

Interesting how agricultural crop rotations appear to affect quail Have
less experience in Arkansas. As a kid growing up in central KS, Arkansas
River Valley NW of Wichita quail were rare. When I came back from
graduate school in Oregon in the late 70s and early 80s, tons of quail
as the irrigation circles by arm chair observation appeared to increase
food fans cover for quail (winter wheat, summer corn/soybean, alfalfa)
versus mostly winter wheat. Quail  were very common. In more recent
years with the transition to soybeans, many fewer quail.  Lots of
potential variables

Big difference between houses being grown here in NW Arkansas and some
types of agriculture whether by accident or intended can improve
wildlife. Definitively a diversity versus bare fields  or manicured lawns.

Jim Morgan


On 6/12/2019 4:36 PM, Joseph Neal wrote:
> 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?

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