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What Does a Quail Need to Survive in the Southeast?

By December 3, 2022Hunting

The bobwhite quail is the most prolific game bird in North America. What do quail need to survive in the southeast?

Quail need three things to survive in the wild: food, water, and cover. Quail are omnivorous; they eat both plants and animals. Their diet consists mostly of seeds, insects, and other small invertebrates. To find food, quail will typically scratch at the ground with their feet to uncover items hidden by vegetation. During hot summer months, water is an essential part of a quail’s diet. Quail will typically drink once or twice a day, consuming about 50% of their daily water intake from vegetation and the other 50% from free-standing water sources like ponds and puddles. Lastly, cover is important for two reasons: it provides protection from predators, and it helps regulate temperature. Various types of vegetation can provide adequate cover for quail, including thick grasses, forbs, shrubs, and even trees, particularly pine stands with a heavy understory. Dense cover is especially important for nesting females as it provides concealment from predators and helps keep eggs warm during incubation.

Quail are an important part of the ecosystem in the southeast United States. To ensure that quail populations remain healthy, it is important to create and maintain habitats that meet their needs.

Quail hunting season in Alabama is November 5 – February 28. The game limit is 8 a day and 8 in possession.