Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Northern Bobwhite
 
 

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Species Acct.
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  Order Galliformes - Galli
   Family Odontophoridae - New World Quail

  Fowl-like Birds are generalized and widespread. They include terrestrial and arboreal birds with a large aftershaft, a large crop, and a muscular gizzard. Young are downy and rapidly become independent. Sibley and Ahlquist (1990) place this group at the beginning of the modern non-passerines with a keel on the sternum.
New World Quail are small, compact galli with a short, stout bill and a serrated mandibular edge. The hind toe is elevated and none of the species have spurs.     
     
     
  Northern Bobwhite, Colinus virginianus
 
      Cornell    USGS     Wiki     ToL     EoL
        YEAR ROUND - Uncommon - rare (breeds) / Rare
            BRUSHY FIELDS, GRASSLANDS
 
   The Northern Bobwhite is a small, round bodied and short-tailed bird with a striking head pattern and white throat in adult males. They often form coveys of up to 20 birds and it might be possible to see a hen leading her young across a clearing during breeding season.
 
       
  RANGE: Quail breed across the eastern parts of the US from the Great Lakes south and Texas east to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, south to northwestern Guatemala.. The species was on the Blue List in 1980-81 and Special Concern, 1982 (due to the severe winter of 1979-80?). Recent declines in population may be due, in part, to the spread of fire ants which greatly depress the biodiversity in areas infested.
  BREEDING: Monogamous. One brood. Both sexes build a shallow depression lined with grass and concealed by a woven arch of vegetation with a small side entrance. They lay 12-16 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 23-34 days. Young are precocial and leave the nest soon after hatching. They are tended by both parents but feed themselves. They can make short flights at  6-7 days but are not full grown for several weeks.
  DIET: About 85% of the diet of quail is vegetation (leaves, fruit, buds, tubers) and the rest animal (spiders, snails, insects, etc.). Young birds eat mostly insects at first. They feed and roost in a covey containing several family groups.   
  VOICE: Quail are more often heard than seen (listen for "bob-white," a loud clear whistle).
  NOTES:
   Checklists -
      Seabrook. Kiawah - rare year-round. Edisto - resident.
      Coastal - uncommon permanent resident. Hilton Head - uncommon permanent resident. Cape Romain - uncommon year-round, breeds.          Huntington Beach - rare, year-round.
      Caw Caw - uncommon year-round, breeds. ACE - uncommon/common (breeds)/uncommon/uncommon.
   CBC: ACE 0, 14, 7, 25, 0, 0, 16, 0;
            Hilton Head 2, 4, 3, 10, 2, 1, 2, 2; Sun City/Okatie 0, 2, 0, 0, 0, 3, 3, 2;
            McClellanville 24, 0, 0, 3, nc, 0, 30, 26; Winyah Bay x, x, 1, 0, 12, 0, 0, 12; Litchfield/Pawley's 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0.
   SCBBA: Breeding in all counties.
   M&G: Very common resident, coastal plain. Egg dates: 17 April - 5 October
   Potter: The population has declined significantly since the 80s (hunting, habitat destruction, cats, changed farming practices, variable rain fall, etc.).
  ●  Rare. Ten years ago, we heard quail regularly on the Andell tract (now the area around Freshfields) but it has been some years since I've heard them. John Sanford had a family on Ocean Pointe in the summer of 2008.
   They should be looked/listened for around the brushy fields that remain. They have been recorded on the Golf Courses several times in May. They would be subjected to intense predation by our foxes and bobcats...
       
       
       
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