Date: 6/14/20 1:37 pm
From: Phil Davis <pdavis...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] putting the Northern back in Bobwhite
Hi MDBirders:

For you history buffs ...

I'm not sure how widely known this is known, but "quail" have been
introduced in Maryland for over 150 years. US Biological Survey
ornithologist, Dr. Alexander Wetmore, did a fair amount of research on
this back in the 1920s.

A few historical summary factoids:

In the 1870s, "quail" (Bobwhite) were translocated from Alabama and
Georgia to Eastern Massachusetts. Birds from Kansas and Alabama were
also introduced into MD.

From 1916-1922, about 31,600 quail were released in PA, with about
25,000 released there during 1921-22.

During 1921-22, approximately 22,000 "Mexican Quail" (Colinus
virginianus texanus), from northeastern Mexico, were released in MD.
Smaller lots were imported for a few years prior to this. About 400
were released in Dorchester County on specific farms. At the MD State
Game Farm, it was proved that the Mexican Quail could breed with the
local "Eastern Bobwhite" form (C. v. virginianus); however, in the
wild it seems that a large number of the imported Mexican Quail either
died or were killed without having bred. Therefore, the hybridization
impact on the Eastern populations, although noticeable, was probably
not as great as it could have been.

FYI ... If you have a historical interest in quail and did not see the
article I wrote for the Yellowthroat about eight years ago, you can
find it here ...

In 2012, I published an article in The Maryland Yellowthroat
about quail (Northern Bobwhite) surveys and winter feeding that
were conducted by the DC Police in conjunction with the US
Biological Survey and the DC Audubon Society between 1918 and


At 08:23 06/14/2020, Dan Small wrote:


I haven't heard details in a little while, but I know over the
last few years PA was undergoing a lot of habitat management on a
select number of Wildlife Management Areas in preparation for a
major Bobwhite translocation effort. Translocation studies have
been ongoing for sometime now in the SE USA with great success, as
long as the habitat is in good shape and will be managed on a
regular basis. Translocation is very different than raising
bobwhites for release, translocation involves trapping wild adults
prior to spring covey breakup. The birds are then transported to
the new site and released as a group.

Virginia has been working hard and for a long time on managing
bobwhite habitat, they have a team of private land biologists that
work with landowners interested in managing their properties for
bobwhite. While I don't know the distribution of the different
populations around the state, I would image if you have been
hearing bobwhite for 30 years in the same area they are more than
likely wild (of course there needs to be lots of good habitat for
population persistence).

Dan Small
Chestertown, MD

Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland 21035 USA

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