The bobwhite and other quails of the United States in their economic relations


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The bobwhite and other quails of the United States in their economic relations
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Judd, Sylvester Dwight, 1871-1905
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture ( Washington )
Publication Date:

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Resource Identifier:
oclc - 5578155
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Front Cover 3
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Letter of transmittal
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
    List of Illustrations
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    The bobwhite (Colinus virginianus)
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Masked bobwhite (Colinus ridgwayi)
        Page 46
    California quail (Lophortyx californicus)
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    Gambel quail (Lophortyx gambeli)
        Page 56
        Page 56-1
        Page 56-2
        Page 57
    Mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus)
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Scaled quail (Scaled quail)
        Page 61
        Page 62
    Mearns quail (Cyrtonyx montezumce mearnsi)
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text






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Bull 21, Biological Survey. U. S. Dept. of Agriculture.


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s pr:* nave tn me nonor to transmit nerewin, lor pumication as mtu-
o1 f the Biological Survey, a report on the quails of the United
es- and their economic value, by Sylvester D. Judd. The quails
6sam group are perhaps better known through the country than
.ther birds. From the time of the first settlements in New Eng-
8ir:nd Virginia till the present day they have been favorite objects
rn,"uit by sportsmen, and are widely known as table delicacies.
7U, chief purpose of the present paper is to consider the quails
Jheir economic relations to the farmer-relations not so well uuder-
they deserve to be. Investigation shows the birds to be no
Blaimportant in their economic than in their other relations to man.
Til ey are found to be exceedingly valuable allies of agriculture be-
||iituse of the quantity of noxious insects and weed seeds they destroy,
wEhile the harm they do is insignificant.
I I am indebted to my assistant, E. W. Nelson, for preparing the
intro. auction and critically reading the text, and to the Bureau of
2Z"ntomology for the identification of many of the insects mentioned.
*-1 Respectfully,
Chief Biological Survey.
S ,Secretary of Agriculture.

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| I ,e i lTAune. Or oDw l'ue -.-. --...-------------..----. ---. ------. ----- I
H of bobwhite ..........-.---------- --------. ---------------- 18
l lation in behalf of bobwhite .--.-..---. ------------..---.---- 19
ll for preservation and propagation -------------------- ----20

.~p: ... .. ......
fi 'habits .-- -- -- -------------- ---- --------------- 27
e,,| an as focd- ...--.-.----.....--.-------.-----------------------
::: .Weed seeds as food- ------------- ..------------ --31
... iAst'of weed seeds eaten-------------------------------- 34
:: Mast and pine seeds as food -----...-----------.-----..-------- 35
J it as food .. ...-----------------------. -------------------. 5
S List of fruits eaten ---------------------------------------- 37
Leaves and buds as food .-- ---------------------- 37
Beetles eaten -------------- ------------- -------------- 38
..i.... List of beetles eaten --------------------------------------- 488
.+::." List of beetles eaten-------------------41
. ...::. Bugs eaten ----------------------------------------------42
J ^ ,Listof bugs eaten----.-------- ------------ 43
Gip', Grasshoppers and allied insects eaten ------------------------- 48
A : Caterpillars eatex ------------------------------------- 44
:pi .......... :! +
S....... List of caterpillars eaten -.-------.. ------------.------------ 45
':". Miscellaneous animal food ------------------------ ----- --45
-,,:! Food of the young ------------- ----------------------------45
Minted bobwhite (Colinus ridgwayi) -------------------------------- 46
2tomia quail (Lophortyx califorzicus) ----------------.--- -------- 47
i- Food habits ----------- ----------------- ------------. 49
++:. Insect and other animal food -----..----..-----.-------- .---------- 49
L. Vegetable food .-.----------. ---.--------..- .-..-.---- 50
[{i : Fruit ----------- -----------------------------------50
Grain ------------------------------------------------- 51
; rLeaves -....--------...--------....--------------------.-----. 52
W eed seeds ..---------- -- --- --------------- -------- ----- - 52
Food of the young ---.. ------------------........-----.. ------........------ 55
iii quail (Lophorty -----56
|| od habits ---------------------- -------------------------- 57
*|A. quail (Oreortymx pitus)...................................... 58
,.. d habits ------------------------------------------------ 59
quail Callipepla squamata)---------------------------- -----..................................... 61
hIFMiod habits ---------. .----------...-------.. ------------------..... 61
quail (C~rtoqz mantezuwe rnearnai) -------- ------------------ 63
"..... (.....eaa mat ) .......... . ...... 61
.... .. .. .. .. 6 3
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"*n hab t-- ---:-- --.. .. ..
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PLATE I. Bobwhite -----...-------------------------...--. Frontispiece.
II. Gambel quail ---------------------------------------- 56


FIG. 1. Witch grass seed -----------.-------.-------------.. -----.-------. 31
2. Crab grass seed -------------------------------------------- 32
3. Knot grass seed -----------....... ------.--.-----------... ------------. 33
4. Mayweed seed --------------- ------------------------------53
5. Alfilaria seed --------- ------------- ---------------------- 53
6. Black mustard seed ....---.----------...---------------.-..--53
7. Chickweed seed ---------- -------------------------------54 '
8. Geranium seed ---------------------------54
9. Sorrel seed -------- ------ -- ---------------------- -54
10. Chess seed- .----.----..-...--...-------------------.......---..------------. 55





..!!! .. ... ..

...... ..... .. INT ODUCTION.
Te quails of the United States, because of their interesting habits
I.0i4! marvelous diversity of form and color, are a notably attractive
IP. All are handsome birds, but the most striking and beautiful
ieei live in the Southwest and on the Pacific coast. Seven species
60wr within our borders, but only one in the Eastern States. The
.tb are widely distributed from Texas to California and Oregon.
4 4eir range was, and still is, continuous along the entire southern
7i-:der of the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific; but there is
(S irregular belt along the northern border and a large area in the
iatior, comprising the Great Plains, the northern three-fourths of
'*ie Great Basin, and the Rocky Mountains, in which they appear to
b^ave been originally wanting.
IM With few exceptions our quails welcome the extension of agri-
isuilture, and the added food supply in farmed areas results in an
limcrease of their numbers. This is equally true of the bobwhite of
the East, and of some of the desert species of the West. So fully
joes .the bobwhite appreciate the advantages of the farm that its
range has increased with the extension of the cultivated area, espe-
i daly west of the Mississippi.
SThe quails, because of their cheerful habits, their beauty, and their
.::value as food, are usually welcome on the farm; but their real value
to agriculture is not yet generally understood. The investigations of
L|the Biological Survey show that these birds, with rare exceptions, are
Sot only harmless, but that usually they are very useful to agricul- This is particularly true of the bobwhite, which constantly
edi s on injurious weed seeds and insects, and thus renders valuable
m service to the farmer. In return for this good service it is but fair
ii':that these birds should be treated with friendly care and interest.
The well-known bobwhite is the only quail indigenous to the East-
United States, where it ranges from southern New England to
fiorida and Texas; but owing to climatic influences the birds of
liiiCorida and of Texas differ enough to be distinguished as geographic
ups ~Wherever it occurs, however, the bobwhite has the same call,
5112-No. 21-0 M--2 7

and varies but little in habits. A closely related bird, the masked
bobwhite, inhabited southern Arizona until within a few years.
Owing to dry seasons and the overstocking of its home with cattle,
this bird is now supposed to be extinct within our borders; but some
probably exist in parts of Sonora, Mexico.
Although bobwhites are handsome birds, yet they are the plainest
quail in the United States except the 'cotton top' or scaled quail of
the deserts of southern Texas and Arizona. The latter is slaty
bluish on the upper parts, which are ornamented with large scale-
like markings, and has a whitish crest.
The most bizarre and curious of all is the Mearns quail of the high,
broken plains and mountain slopes of southwestern Texas, southern
New Mexico and Arizona. It is short and round bodied, like a little
guinea hen, and this superficial likeness is increased by brilliant round
white spots ornamenting the dark sides. It is the gentlest of all
the quails and isso unsuspicious that when a person encounters one
it often walks unconcernedly about or stands looking curiously at
the newcomer, when it is not infrequently killed with a stick or stone,
a characteristic which,' among the people where it lives, has earned
for it the name of Fool Quail.'
The Gambel quail is a habitant of the southwestern desert region,
where it ranges the brushy foothills and the valleys along water-
courses. It is a beautiful bird, the head handsomely marked and
adorned with a jet-black recurving crest, and the flanks bright
chestnut, brilliantly streaked with white. This quail, one of the
most conspicuous and pleasing forms of desert life, is numerous
wherever it can find sufficient food and water. For ages it has
claimed many a remote watering place as its own, but it welcomes
the settler and finds additional shelter and food in his irrigated
fields. Under the new conditions its numbers increase and it repays
the favors received by becoming semidomesticated. Its presence
adds a touch of bright color and animation to the dreary surround-
ings of many a lonely desert ranch.
The California valley quail belongs entirely to the Pacific coast,
and probably is the most beautiful of the smaller gallinaceous birds
of the world. It resembles the Gambel quail in its recurring black
crest and general appearance, but exceeds that bird in the richness
of its colors and markings. It is abundant in most parts of Cali-
The California mountain quail, the largest and one of the hand-
somest of this group, inhabits the wooded mountains of the Pacific
coast, and bears a superficial resemblance to the red-legged partridge
of Europe. Like the Mearns quail, its haunts are usually more
remote from cultivated lands than are those of the other species.
The services to agriculture of the western quails, while in most

th.6:: quail is great, and the health and pleasure derived from their
t has resulted in the investment of millions of dollars. When
.....irn'.. rally understood that by judicious effort the numbers of
useful birds may be greatly increased, with a proportionate
tto all concerned, it is hoped that efforts to this end will not be
!delayed. m ;:,
iiB .lifcf .df....ft..
: ...........(Colin s virginianus.)a

':bo:bwhite is one of the most widely distributed and popular
si o birds of the United States, but in many places it is suffering
utbiless extermination. Sportsmen, farmers, legislators, and orni-
...t ogists, as well as the friends of birds in general, should interest
themselves in the problem of its preservation. In the Northern,
tj*.Wtern, and Middle States it is commonly known as 'quail,' in
tin.t Southern States as 'partridge.' This tends to confusion, since in
INefw England and northern New York the name 'partridge' is
lSco:mmonly applied to the ruffed grouse. Both names were brought to
IlMnerica by English colonists from their Old World homes, where
~y are applied to species not originally inhabiting this continent. bobwhite' is from the familiar call note of the bird.
some of its characteristics bobwhite differs strikingly from other
bers of the family. For example, the crest-a well-developed
1. Nent of several closely related American quails-in bobwhite
!invisible except when the bird is excited.
STh'common bobwhite ranges more or less generally over the east-
1 half of the United States and-southern Ontario, except in the
4 ., mountainous parts, from southern Maine to northern Florida,
.west to South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas. In addi-
e name Is used here in its broad sense to cover the typical bird of the
States, Colinus virginianus, and the two subspecies, the Florida bob-
Sv. f.oPr4was) and the Texas bobwhite (0. v. tenants).
.. .. ...


tion, colonies have been introduced and found to thrive in various
localities in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, California, Ore-
gon, Washington, and the island of Jamaica. South of the home of
the typical bird, just outlined, bobwhites have a wide range, occupy-
ing Florida, western and southern Texas, Cuba, and a large part of
Mexico, and extending even beyond the border of Guatemala. Owing
chiefly to climatic influences the southern birds differ more or less
from the northern ones. The masked bobwhite (Colinus ridgwayi),
a closely related but separate species, once lived in extreme southern
Arizona and the adjoining part of Sonora, but. now it is probably
extinct within our borders. With this exception all of the bobwhites
from Canada to Guatemala and Cuba, according to E. W. Nelson,
belong to a single species modified by environment into a consider-
able number of forms, some of which are strikingly different from
the birds of the United States. /flhe Florida bobwhite, which is
peculiar to the peninsula of Florida, is smaller and darker than the
northern bird. The Texas bobwhite of western Texas and north-
eastern Mexico is about the same size as the northern one, but is paler
and has a light rufous collar below the black band and bordering the
white throat patch. The Salvin bobwhite from the southern border
of Mexico is very unlike the common bird of the United States, most
of the head, neck, and breast being plain black and the rest of the
underparts plain rufous.
The present account is limited to the bobwhites of the United
States, including the Texas and Florida forms. The writer's field
work in this connection has been l)rincipally in New Jersey, Vir-
ginia, and Maryland-on a farm at Marshall Hall, Md., which is
directly across the Potomac from Mount Vernon.

In the field the nuptial call note of the cockbird is an infallible
guide to its identity. This familiar challenge, sounding to the
sportsman like bob white,' bob-bob-white,' and to the farmer like
More wet' or no more wet.' is by no means the only note of the
species during the breeding season. It was the good fortune of the
writer during the last week of June, 1902, to hear the nesting note
and other calls. Again and again the cock left his distant perch,
where he had been whistling 1)ob white,' and, still calling, ap-
proached the nest on the bank of a little sluggish briery run between
open fields. lWhen within 50 yards of his mate he uttered the rally
note, so thrilling to the sportsman in the fall, 'ka-loi-kee,' which
the hen often answered with a single clear whistle. Then followed
: series of queer responsive 'caterwaulings,' more unbirdlike than
those of the yellow-breasted chat, suggesting now the call of a cat to

IPast 85 feet from the ground. H. H. Miller reports that April 25,
..:..was the earliest date of nuptial notes at Sandy Spring, Md.
-A the breeding season the bird discontinues this characteristic
During August 19-21, 1902, it was heard only on one occasion
t.t..Mashall Hall, where the birds are numerous, and ceased after
jiiian repetitions. Edward A. Preble, of the Biological Survey,
'.... recorded the 'bob-white' call at Wilmington, Mass., as late as
k o.ber 20.
?' Te:notes of the bobwhite in fall and winter have been described
mny writers. The following quotation from Mr. Sandys gives
iiiM.:.!:dirable description of the call notes of a covey that has been
4t erked by the sportsman and is trying to reassemble for the night
noiia...i stationn so accurate as instantly to recall the notes to one who has
ad them: "Over the brow of a hill comes the low, tender call
41i"K the hen to her youngsters, ka-loi-kee, ka-loi-kee;' and, perhaps,
m the broomsedge beside the observer comes the loud vibrant
Answerr' whoil-kee.'" This call is usually sounded in the late after-
.ao0n, but December 31, 1901, at Woodbridge, Va., a scattered flock
S. as heard calling persistently in the morning.
On one occasion the writer watched a bobwhite whistling from a
fence rail 10 feet away.. At such close range the whistle lost all its
melody and became a nasal shriek which was almost painful to the
Sear. It was repeated on an average five or six times a minute and
I consisted of either two or three notes, of Which the first was so low as
| to be inaudible a hundred yards away, and the last was strikingly
Louder. The mode of delivery was peculiar; sitting in a normal,
iierect position the bird emitted the first note, then depressing the tip
||, of the bill almost to touch its breast, with a motion as though hic-
i:oughing, it gave the second, then throwing back its head and point-
7ig its bill skyward it uttered the explosive, far-reaching third note.
.piThe nesting time of bobwhite in each section of the bird's range
'sb usually limited to a fairly well-defined period, but varies consider-
t:Wbly in the time of beginning, the difference being partly seasonal
A'i tdpartly regional. About Washington, D. C., the coveys usually
Wek up the first part of-May, one covey being seen in 1899 as late as
May 9. In 1902 the first nest with eggs was found at Marshall Hall


on May 29, and the first downy chicks on July 6. Between the end -I
of June and last of August seven pairs of birds were found there
which had recently mated- or were incubating. This was shown by
the fact that the cock birds were flushed thirty-six times and the
hens only four times. During the same season five nests were found
between July 15 and 19 at Sandy Spring, Md., less than 20 miles
away. One of these nests contained 24 eggs. Even larger clutches
are recorded, and one nest found at Woodstock, Ohio, is reported
to have contained 42 eggs.a Such large clutches probably are the
product of more than one bird. In 1903 nesting appeared to be
later than in 1902, as the first eggs found were discovered July 10.
The farmers at Marshall Hall say that they usually find the first
downy chicks during wheat harvest, usually the last week of June.
A number of broods of chicks were seen about Marshall Hall from
July to September.
The newly hatched young have chocolate-streaked heads, and re-
Ssemble small black and red bantam chicks. Whenever these newly
hatched chicks remain motionless their protective coloration renders
them invisible unless one makes a most careful search.
From information at hand it appears that the main breeding season
for bobwhite in the Northern States, including the country about
Washington, D. C., is during May, June, and the first half of July.
Florida birds begin to breed regularly the first of April (though some
are much earlier), and continue nesting till well into June. Texas
birds nest mainly in April and May, but some nest as late as Septem-
ber. Throughout its range some of the birds breed earlier and others
later than the main body of the species, and the occurrence of second
or even third broods may lengthen the season. Robert Ridgway
found a clutch of freshly deposited eggs in southern Illinois on
October 16, and H. C. Munger found another set in Missouri in Jan-
uiary, the parent being afterwards found frozen.on the nest. Authen-
tic records from various parts of its range show that bobwhite has
been known to breed, at least occasionally, somewhere in its range
every month of the year except. 1)ecember. This seems to prove that
under certain circumstances bobwhite, like the lomniestic hen, will
lay a clutch of eggs at any time of year.
The occasional presence with the female of young o two or three
sizes appears to show that at least two broods are sometimes raised
in a season, but we lack definite information on this subject. Major
Bendire gives twenty-four days as the period of incubation. The
male is reported as sometimes assisting in this duty.
a Forest and Stream, X, p. 399, 1878.

M ..ri unua la1n. LIlt CUlzllIIULUS LIIl cuvty ,Y uabii Ju away JLiU Lill LUUMLt,
They took refuge in the tree tops, thence sending forth their
lg call notes.
ib appears to be a tendency among bobwhites, at least in some
to a local migration. In certain sections, as in Virginia and
jsryland, they commonly leave their summer homes on the approach
of:: winter and congregate near the larger watercourses. In an old
-AVbelr of the American Sportsman Lewis refers to this fall move-
ppeat, sadays: "At this period the birds are said tobe running or
t di4 ng, and will not lie to a dog; and to pursue is lost time, as it
E:|i be found utterly impossible to keep up with them, no matter with
a:..ij..t speed you attempt it."
The .^.^ habits.... of the bobwhite during the hunting season are well
..... .. ........
k m*wn. The birds move about most actively and feed in the early
morning and late afternoon. The best shooting is to be had the hour
:::sunset, in the places where the birds have decided to spend the
might. They roost on the ground, forming a solid ring with tails in
d-W heads out. In Virginia and Maryland the roosting places are
almost never in the woods, though in Mecklenburg County, Va., the
i.'writer has found them in grassy, briery little clearings among pine
A:,wo0ods. At Marshall Hall the birds were found roosting in the edges
ot woodland, orchards, patches of ragweed in wheat stubble, cornfields,
tmck plats, broomsedge, dewberry and blackberry tangles, pastures,
-and fence corners. In Massachusetts Edward A. Preble found no
f0ts in the open fields, but found them among scrub oaks and in tall
i forests. Bobwhites habitually use a roosting ground again and
Wai. A covey of a dozen, found the middle of November, 1899, at
K1rshall Hall, resorted'to a corner of a peach orchard for eight con-
mocultive nights, and during December, 1902, a covey of fifteen on the
toanoke River bottom used a narrow strip of_ cockleburr, ragweed,
Ssmartweed for ten consecutive-nights. It is interesting to note
1t, although quail seek the woods for shelter from enemies during
y, they generally regard the open as safer at night.
.,.. ... .


It is the general opinion that with the on-coming of winter the
bobwhite is found less often in-the open fields, where withered herba-
ceous plants afford but scant protection from enemies, than in dense
bushy briery coverts and woods.
In Maryland and Virginia the scattered and depleted coveys after
the shooting season evidently unite into large bevies. Their favorite
resort in severe weather is a bank with southern exposure and suitable
food supply. At Marshall Hall during one of the heaviest snowfalls
of the season, when the Potomac was frozen over and the thermometer
isear zero, a covey was always to be found on the southeast side of a
steel) bank bordering a large swamp. Here the birds found food
and warmth, for the rays of the sun fell on this slope so directly
that even when the snow elsewhere lay from 3 to 6 inches deep it was
here melted or remained only in patches. It was noticeable that when
snow was on the ground the birds ventured only a few rods from
cover, a fact that apparently indicated their appreciation of danger
from the numerous hawks and foxes. At Kinsale, Va., the writer
found bobwhites crossing open fields when there was an inch or two
of snow, though for the most part they kept close to cover. In April
and May the birds again venture out into the open, and they breed
when vegetation is sufficiently grown to conceal the nests.
At Marshall Hall little oval pits in dry soil, in which quail had
been dusting, were found in various situations, usually under cover
of weeds and bushes about the fields. Dusting is a part of the toilet
of all gallinaceous and many other birds, and may also be a protec-
tion against vermin.


In summing up the relations of the bobwhite to agriculture it will
le well to emphasize certain facts developed by our investigation of
its food hal)its. In the first place, careful observations at Marshall
Hall, where thle acreage under cultivation is large and the bobwhite
alifndanlt, and less extended investigations elsewhere afford no evi-
dence that the species does apl)reciable injury to crops of grain or
fruit. Further, its habit of destroying weed seeds is of much eco-
inomic importance. For instance, it is reasonable to assume that in
tlhe States of Virginia and North Carolina, from September 1 to
.April 30, the season when the largest proportion of weed seed is con-
silmed 'by birds, there are four bobwhites to each square mile of land,
or .354,820 in the two States. The crop of each bird holds half an
nille of seeds and is filled twice a day. Since at each of the two
daily meals weed seeds constitute at least half the contents of the
cro,,l or a quarter of an ounce, a half ounce daily is consumed by
eacli bird. On this basis the total consumption of weed seeds by


R biu|zs and the army worm. T'he highly insectivorous chicks
.... proportionally greater destruction of insects than the adult
i Further, while many other useful birds confine themselves to
i w.dland or swamp, or merely scout along waterways, hedges,
it.' ee rows, the bobwhite feeds directly among field crops. In
&. th .it iis found in cotton fields; in the North it delights in the
K -grown wheat stubble; in the West its favorite feeding
dis corn fields, and it often spends the night there instead of
"% gto cover as do most birds. The facility with which it passes
Sield to field, either on foot or on the wing, distributes its serv-
i.. t an unusual degree.
'." .very landowner should realize the value of the bobwhite, and
s wi;i: d demand from sportsmen a fair price for the birds killed on
Wi.iis property. With proper management some farms of from 500
i to 1,090 acres would probably yield a better revenue from bobwhites
t! han from poultry. Many farms in North Carolina derive a regular
income from this source. This is obtained by leasing the shooting
I* tight to wealthy sportsmen, who, in localities where birds are abun-
it:: %Dt, willingly pay considerable sums for the privilege. This is
tdobably the most profitable use to which certain poor lands in the
: Suth can be put. In some places in Maryland, Virginia, and North
. 3a rolina the sportsman often pays the landowner from 5 to 25 cents
fox every bird shot. In other places the farmer or his boy is hired
: guide to locate the quail. In addition the sportsman pays liber-
-UPy for his board and otherwise adds to the farmer's income. Wide-
iawae farmers appreciate the fact that the genuine sportsman pays
"11 for his sport and should discriminate between him and the
.k4t hunter. Millions of dollars can be realized by the proper
m .agement of the quail crop of the United States. The time is per-
not far distant when landowners will protect their game birds
foxes, injurious hawks, and human poachers as diligently as
nMow do their poultry. The sooner the farmer realizes the value
.11-Na 21-06 m-3
. ... .... .. .. ..... ..."


of the bobwhite and the fact that the market hunter is a bird extermi-
nator, profiting at the landowner's expense, the better will be his
chance of an income from his crop of quail.


Perhaps no game is more generally known and liked than quail.
The flesh of the bobwhite is juicy, tender, delicately flavored, easily
digested, and nutritious. It is well adapted to the needs of invalids.
To the farmer's table, where fresh meat is often not obtainable, this
bird furnishes a welcome supply. No game is so much sought' for in
market, and countless numbers are sold every year. The writer knows
of a single dealer in Washington who in 1902 sold 100,000 quail.
Yet the supply is far short of the demand, and the price is constantly
rising. In connection with the present price, which is $3 to $5 a
dozen, it is interesting to recall Audubon's statement that in 1810
these birds could be bought for 12 cents a dozen and in 1831 for 50
cents.0 Then they were on the tables of rich and poor alike.


Edwyn Sandys says of the bobwhite: "He truly is the king of his
race; and not alone that, for, in the opinion of hosts of enthusiastic
sportsmen, he is the best bird that flies." The well-known author
T. S. Van Dyke says: Dear little Bob White has brought more rest J
to the business-wearied soul, more new life to tired humanity than
nearly all other American game combined." The pursuit of many
kinds of game is possible only in the distant wilderness, where travel-
ing is diffi-cult and the exposure incident to the sport may be danger-
ous to health; but the pursuit of the bobwhite belongs to open,
accessib)le country, and is not too severe for men accustomed to a
sedentary life. To thousands of such men quail hunting is the yearly
means of restoration, and results in a direct benefit to the community,
though one not readily computed in money value. At a conservative
estimate, between 300,000 and 400,000 sportsmen go out from cities
every fall to hunt bobwhite, which means a large expenditure of
money, much of which goes to farmers who hold shooting land. Such
revenue is timely, for it comes when farm work yields small returns
and employment is welcome. Where nonresident licenses are required,
with fee of from $5 to $25, the State also derives a direct income from
the sport.
The bobwhite deservedly stands at the head of American game
birds, because it lies so well to the dog, and when flushed springs
from the earth like an arrow, demanding a quick eye and a trained
a Ornlth. Biog., I, p. 392, 1831, .

tEfSaCity. Certain clubs are organized for the purpose of holding field
'tials, the object of which is to test the ability of competing dogs to
'A find and point birds. As retrieving is not required, the birds are not
i', ot. One of the best-known patrons of field trials recently told the
r writer that he had not killed a bobwhite in ten years. A number of
i" Ubs control each a preserve of from 5,000 to 20,000 acres, on which
noQ shooting is allowed-or, if permitted, is carefully regulated-and
.suitable measures are taken for protecting birds and facilitating their
pro '".*pagation. These trials are held in a score or more of States, and
i, some of the larger contests more than a hundred dogs are entered.
ome owners of field-trial dogs have preserves of their own, stocked
S'with hundreds of pairs of bobwhites. Thousands of live birds for
::the above purposes are in demand, at high prices. If the bobwhite
: could be domesticated and reared in captivity for sale, the enterprise
would doubtless be very profitable. From these facts it is evident
t at the sport of hunting bobwhite contributes to the health and hap-
i piness of thousands of men, and that in various ways it can be made
Sto add to the prosperity of farmers and others interested.

S Much money has been spent, and well spent, merely for the enjoy-
Il meant of the beauty and companionship of birds. For the protection
of gulls and terns along the Atlantic coast thousands of dollars have
i: been expended at the instance of bird lovers, in whose eyes these
delicate and graceful creatures are the crowning attractions of marine
landscape. In like manner the admirers of bobwhite derive esthetic
piileasure from his presence. To pastoral inland scenes-woodlots
ina green mist of young leaves, summer grass fields and bushy pas-
,tures, brown stubble, and skeleton cornfields-the bobwhite adds a
distinctive charm-homely, but noane the less attractive. As the bird



calls from the fence post or runs fearlessly across the road, the
stroller can but admire its trim, alert figure and tasteful color
pattern of black, white, and brown, set off with delicate tintings of
blue-gray. Its mellow whistle seems a proffer of good-fellowship,
investing even a solitude with cheer, while the plaintive covey-call
heard in the growing darkness to summon a scattered flock to the
nightly resting place is one of the tenderest of evening sounds. Be-
cause of such traits the bird has made many friends, some of whom
spend time and money to insure its undisturbed presence in their

Every few years, on the recurrence of unusually severe winters with
heavy snows which cover the food supply, great numbers of bob-
whites perish, and sometimes in the northern part of its range the I
bird becomes almost extinct. This unnecessary loss of life could be
largely prevented if landowners and others interested would scatter
a little grain in suitable places. This is done in some localities, as at
Sandy Spring, Md., where H. H. Miller drives over the snow-covered
country, scattering grain for the starving quail. The practice is 1
worthy of general adoption. It is necessary only while the ground
is snowbound, and especially after sleet storms.
The bobwhite has taken kindly to civilization and has followed the
plow of the settler into new sections, so that with the advance of the
farming area in the West, and especially in the Northwest, its range :
has been much extended.
There is little doubt, however, that, while the bobwhite is a fairly
hardy and prolific species, its numbers are decreasing in much, if not
till, of its range, where not specially protected. In the early fifties
Lewis reported 61 birds killed in a day to a single muzzle loader, and
mentions 900 birds trapped on one estate in a season. Within the
last few years the scarcity of bobwhites has been so notable that sev-
eral projected field trials have been abandoned for lack of birds on
which to try the dogs.
Severe winters, as already noted, are an occasional cause for a
great decrease in the number of the birds, though they increase rapidly
with a few succeeding good seasons. In sections where the birds are
still common unlimited slaughter is often indulged in by thoughtless
hunters. Recent instances of such slaughter are on record, and the
following may be cited: A bag of 175 birds to three guns in eight
hours in the fall of 1902 at Tiffin, Ohio," another of 300 birds to a
single gun in a day and a half in the fall of 1902, in Marshall County,
Ky.,b and still another of 292 birds to three guns in a day in South

a Recreation, vol. 17, p. 120.

b Ibid., vol. 19, p. 41.

mama........ efforts are needed even to maintain its present numbers.
",iditRion to natural causes, reasons for the diminished numbers
I whites are diversity in the open season, shooting out of sea-
s..... ve shooting in season, and unrestricted shooting and
for market. Lack of uniformity in laws of adjoining
'ad in some cases of adjoining counties, renders their observ-
dificult and their enforcement often impossible. No other
ird has been the subject of so much legislation, which, begin-
in New York in 1791, now extends to every State and Territory
.the bird is native or has been introduced. The length of sea-
pi ri1ng which the bird should be protected by law is a matter of
p-punnt importance. It goes without saying that no shootifig
ih "be permitted during the breeding season, which must be
fldbo to last until the young of the year are strong of wing and
i4y:.developed for the struggle for existence. Besides this the close
.i.... ought to include months of rest, during which the birds can
rili themselves for the physiological strain of the next period of
I'rtoduction. 'As now established the open season varies from
Iw eaty-one days in Ohio to seven months in Mississippi. In North
9sr.lina, however, where nearly every county has its own law, the
;Bolwhite may be shot throughout the year in five counties. Virginia
)ma i recently abolished county laws and established uniformity, an
ex:iamiple that other States, especially Southern'States, would do well
.:; follow. It is gratifying to note that in 1903 the open seasons
i*Were shortened by New York, Illinois, Texas, and Virginia. In
t .'ih States-Maine, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Mon-
|aiana, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah-the bobwhite is absolutely
protected for a term of years, extending to 1920 in Colorado. Two
pnzditions justify such prohibition of shooting. First, when ex-
essive shooting or other causes have made recuperation necessary;
jpecond, when birds just introduced into a new locality need time to
r*wbish themselves. Wherever the bird can not hold its own with
|a-. open season of three weeks absolute protection for a period of
riner is demanded. The length of the open season must vary with
atyIng conditions, but in view of the general decrease of the birds
f would seem to be a growing need for shortening it. The sooner
Pwthern States limit their shooting to one month the better. Even
*Recreation, vol. 16, p. 372.

Southern birds can not stand the present continuous fusillade of
from four to seven months, and the open season in the South should
be limited to two or, at most, three months.
The slaughter of the bobwhite by sportsmen who hunt for pleasure
is insignificant in comparison with that by professional market
hunters. At the present time (1904), in about 25 States, the law
takes cognizance of this fact by prohibiting the sale of birds killed
within the State or imported from other States, and the general
tendency altogether to prohibit the sale is growing each year. Every
State except Mississippi forbids the sending of certain game outside
the State-a restriction on the sportsman as well as the market
hunter, although the privilege of carrying home a limited amount
of game is often granted under a nonresident license. Fourteen
States have laws, also affecting both classes, limiting a day's bag to
from 5 to 50 birds. Many sportsmen and farmers would be glad if
the limit were set at 12. Laws discriminating against nonresidents
protect the game and benefit the landowner, provided visiting sports-
men are not barred altogether by unreasonable fees. Thirty-one
States and Territories require nonresident licenses. In addition to
State game laws there are certain Federal laws, the most important
of which is the Lacey Act, which provides, among other things,
through the Department of Agriculture, for the preservation, distri-
bution, introduction, and restoration of game birds, and also under-
takes to bring to justice persons who transport from one State to
another game killed in violation of local laws. The latter clause
proves effective in restricting such illegal shipments and in suppress-
ing professional dealers that kill out of season in one State and
attempt to sell in another where the season is still open. A law to
prevent keeping birds in cold storage from one season to another
would stop certain loopholes in the present laws and greatly aid in
preserving game. An effective system of State game officials where
it is lacking would aid in enforcing game laws. A number of States
depend solely on county officers; but experience has shown that with-
out a central State organization and special game wardens the law to
a great extent becomes a dead letter.

Stringent laws against trapping the bobwhite have been enacted,
but such legislation should permit legitimate trapping for purposes
of propagation. One of the most important problems before game
commissioners is the restocking of depleted covers. If, however, the
Ibobwhite can be reared successfully in captivity, all trapping may
Ibe prohibited. The sporting magazines (' Forest and Stream' and
'American Field') mention cases of the bird's laying in captivity

wiw.have a pair of quails bobwhitess) which were trapped last winter
ileh I keep in a large wire coop. They have made a nest In some grass
iUen laid about 12 or 15 eggs.
W eggs were laid very Irregularly, not more than two or three a week, so
tby the time the nest was full the season was far advanced, which perhaps
for the female not sitting. The eggs were set under a hen and proved
"te, -but the young were eaten by thle chicken ns fast as they hatched. I
..... ed Athat this irregularity or slowness in laying was the result of the lack
e.Aset and other egg-producing food, as the birds subsist almost wholly on
pp Of late, however, they have learned to eat with much relish the yolk of
inpm bard boiled.
l. failure of the female to sit was probably due to the unnatural
cnfinement in so small a space, a difficulty which could readily be
remedied if attempts to raise quail were made on a large scale.
J:.Unquestionably, too, it would be necessary to feed the quail, at least
d duringg the nesting period, to a considerable extent upon animal food.
An instructive account of quail breeding in confinement appears in
Porest and Stream for September 28, 1882 (p. 164). The female had
;;;been hatched and reared by a bantam hen, and this circumstance has
an important bearing on experiments of this kind. It is altogether
probable that bobwhites hatched and reared in this way would lend
themselves to experiments in propagation far more readily than wild
birds trapped for the purpose.
SThe Department of Agriculture obtained three pairs of bobwhites
from Kansas, which after five months' captivity are almost as
wild as when first caged and show no signs of mating. Experiments
in the domestication of bobwhite are well worth trying, however,
because of the demand from clubs and individuals for live birds to
restock their grounds. So great has become the. demand in recent
years that it is estimated that 200,000 birds would be required
annually to fill it. During the spring of 1903 the demand far
exceeded the supply, even at $5 a dozen, and sometimes at twice that
Success in increasing the numbers of bobwhite depends largely on
.controlling its natural enemies, which include snakes, foxes, weasels,
winks, skunks, domestic cats, and certain hawks and owls. Several
species of snakes eat its eggs and young. Writing from Texas,
|Major Bendire says: "The many large rattlesnakes found here are
tIheir worst enemies. One killed in May had swallowed five of these
birds at one meal; another had eaten a female, evidently caught on
her nest, and half a dozen of her eggs; a third had taken four bob-
whites and a scaled partridge." In Mecklenburg County, Va., the
"; Life Hist. N. Am. Birds [I], p. 8, 18s92.
ii ........

,, 21...


king snake (Lampropeltia getula) has been known to eat a clutch of
eggs. At Falls Church, VTa., Harvey Riley captured a black snake
(Bascanion constrictor) which disgorged a newly hatched bobwhite.
Reference has been made already to the marked decrease in the
number of bobwhites on the 230-acre farm at Marshall Hall, from
fifty-odd birds in July to less than a dozen in December, though not
more than a dozen had been shot. This decrease was probably due,
at least in part, to gray foxes; for in August and September these
animals were numerous, and often came after the chickens within a
stone's throw of the farmhouse. Other predaceous mammals and
birds of prey were not numerous, but foxes frequently were seen at
midday searching through pastures where there were broods of bob-
whites. It must be easy for a fox to exterminate a whole brood of
newly hatched bobwhites, and no difficult task to catch them even
when three-fourths grown. Minks and weasels, when numerous, are
l)robably even more destructive to young bobwhites than to domestic
poultry. The domestic cat that takes to foraging in woods and
fields is also a menace and should be shot on suspicion, for it undoubt-
edly preys on game birds, as it is known to do on song birds and
young rabbits.
In Maryland and Virginia the writer has found the crow plunder-
ing nests of the bobwhite, and in these States the crow is an
enemy also of poultry. Doctor Fisher states in his Hawks and Owls
of the United States that of the forty-odd species which he studied
he found only nine that killed the bobwhite. Four of these-the
goshawk. Cooper hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, and great-horned owl-
are very destructive to poultry as well as game. Dr. WIV. C. Strode,
of Bernadotte, Ill., writes that bobwhite's worst enemy is the Cooper
hawk. "A few days ago one flew up from the roadside when I was
passing, and a I)ol)white was dangling from one foot." During
November, 1900, this species so persecuted the birds at Marshall Hall
that they were seldom foltid far from cover. In one instance a
hawk was seen to swoop) to the ground and rise with a cock bobwhite.
The other species of hawks and(1 owls rarely molest quail.
If boblwhites nlore frequently nested along fence rows instead of
in open mowing land, they would abound in many places where they
are rare. Tihe mowing machine lays many nests bare, and they are
either despoiled by enemies or deserted by the old birds. At Sandy
Spring, Md., early in July, 1903, four nests with their eggs were cut
over in a 50-acre grass lot. In other hay fields several nests were dis-
coveredl in time to leave grass unclut about them, but boys robbed
them all. Between such lads and the crows and other enemies bob-
whites have a hard time in certain sections.
To enable them to withstand the winter, bobwhites need suitable


i- a trla

*M ,ixaota the birds increase in numbers during years with mild win-
ind -decrease when the winter is exceptionally severe.b Wilson
States in Birds and Seasons of New England that thousands of
A bwiteg were destroyed by the deep snows of 1856-57. During the
severe winter of 1903-4 bobwhites were nearly exterminated iL
..ons of Massachusetts. That quail do not always succumb to
,0iWonal cold appears from the fact that in Susquehanna County,
atan altitude of 2,000 feet, W. IV. Cooke found a covey of a
I aI^ bobwhites apparently in the best of condition on December 9,
r(Jh::B though a foot of snow covered the ground and the thermometer
.'j4 .....:. .daat 20Q below zero.
I rAtudy of the winter habits of the bobwhite by the writer in the
iH mtiiity of Washington, D. C., so far has yielded only fragmentary
ie::uts. In Fpbruary, 1900, after a foot of snow had fallen, in a care-
Sfi"t! two days' search he failed to discover even a track of a large
covey that usually frequented river flats along the Potomac at Mar-
shall Hall. The birds must have been under the snow or back in the
: imber. At Falls Church, Va., after a lighter fall of snow he saw a
ronvey of five moving among briers on the edge of a wood, and
Their fresh tracks showed that they had been feeding systematically
omn rose hips, but had not ventured from cover. At Cabin John
3Bridge Md., after a snowfall of several inches his dog pointed six
on the south side of a river bluff, where the sun had melted holes
Sthe snow. On one of these bare spots he saw two birds, which
T4roseand were joined by four others. The covey had made wallows
04 inches deep in the leaf mold on the bare spots. All the birds had
aIvoided stepping on the snow. At hand was such food as the berries
... .... sumac and the seeds of Galactia volubilis and Chamachrista
/.iciculdaria. Examination of the droppings indicated that less than
-...:.a Upland Game Birds, p. 70, 1902.
11o:: .. Notes on the Birds of Minnesota, p. 155, 1892.
.113-No. 21-05 N---
..m~ ;:: .. .. ... .


one-tenth of the food had been animal matter, the remains of which
consisted of ants, the tibie of grasshoppers, the spotted cuticle of sol-
dier bugs, and the cow-horn-like mandibles of spiders. So far as
could be made out, the remains of vegetable food consisted of the skin
of kernels of corn, fragments of the akenes of ragweed, and pulverized
bits of sumac seeds (Rhus copallina), partridge pea (Chamanehrista
fascicularis), milk pea (Galactia volubilis), and crownbeard (Ver-
besina), besides unidentified leaf material. The weather had been
severe for more than a week, but the birds were in good condition.
On the Marshall Hall farm, a short distance back from the banks
of the Potomac, is a swamp that has a steep bank with a southern
exposure where there is usually more or less bare ground in patches.
For several years bobwhites have made a winter haunt of this warm,
sunny bank, and here some interesting observations were made Feb-
ruary 18 and 19, 1902, when the snow was from 2 to 4 inches deep
and the minimum temperature was 4 F. above zero. A covey had
spent the night of February 17 not on the warm bank, comparatively
bare of snow, but on the level above the bank, where they had squatted
on the snow under a dewberry bush among broomsedge. Their feet
and droppings had melted the snow, and subsequent freezing had
formed an icy ring. The birds had not flown thither, but had walked
from the swamp utip the steep bank and through the broomsedge
level. The next morning they had flown from the roost to the steep
slope, had run along the edge of the swamp to a bushy, tree-bordered
stream, then up its north bank for 300 yards and back on the south
bank, and thence to the steep, sunny slope again. On their journey
they had gone utinder every matted tangle of cat-brier vines-possibly
for berries, but more probably for protection. At one point they
had fed freely on sumac berries. The tracks of a fox were found
with those of the birds for about 100 yards. On the morning of
the 19th they traveled not more than 200 yards, this chiefly among
outstanding willows and alders of the swamp and along the belt of
land 5 to 20 yards wide between the boundary fence and the reeds
of the swamp. In one place two pairs of birds had walked so near
together as to cross one another's tracks; two single birds had
made clear lines of tracks on one side of them, and a single bird had
walked alone on the other side from 1 to 4 feet from his nearest
companion. All had evidently eaten rose hips, mutilated remains
of which still clung to the bushes. The covey might have been
expected to range far and wide in the open fields for seeds and even
to straw ricks for grain, but except when traveling to their roost
they had never gone more than a rod from cover. Apparently fear
of enemies restrained them.
An article in the American Field, February 25, 1899, by the well-
known sportsman John Bolus, of WoQoqster, Ohio, illustrates the hardi-


wip f.neo. omne coveys remained uncer shelter or little weeu
but others ranged over the more open fields.
I.z aryland and Virginia large landowners often feed their birds
'%*r -te weather. Wheat and corn are the best food, and should be
'Y tb if possible, among the briers where the birds are safe from
Bobwhites have been known to feed with chickens in barn-
By a little forethought landowners and sportsmen can easily
winter provision for their birds. Sumac bushes should be
Ilk:- along hedgerows and the edge of woodland to furnish food
t t is always above the snow and lasts well into spring. Twelve
|| whites collected in December in North Dakota had made nine-
'.+tenSt of their food of sumac, having eaten from 50 to 300 berries
"'I&. A similar use, in coast regions, of the bayberry and wax
4 nyrtle. has been noted. Their berries, as well as those of sumac,
I still May, and the plants should always be spared by everyone
h- .isinterested in the welfare of the bobwhite. Smilax, affording
i ttle food but fine cover, and wild roses, giving both food and cover,
Al foo but fin'.
a m also valuable. Blackberry thickets, young pine woods, laurel,
and holly furnish safe retreats from enemies.
SThe farmer can well afford to feed the bobwhite in winter, but he
lean not afford to spend as much time and money as the owner of game
preserves, and for the latter class further suggestions may be helpful.
In the Eastern and Southern States land that will not grow profitable
crops may be used for the game preserve, provided it has water and
bushy coverts. The use of the mowing machine, so destructive to
eggs and young birds, should be avoided when possible during the
Breeding season. Wheat for the birds should be sown in long strips
I not over 50 yards wide. The best of the grain may be harvested and
Sthe rest left standing. On the stubble a luxuriant growth of ragweed
I will generally spring up-a perfect food supply, except that it does
jnot last till spring; hence the need of sumac or bayberry. In regions
it too dry for ragweed to grow in the stubble, sunflowers are an excellent
[1 substitute. Sorghum, millet (Chastochloa), and possibly panicum
,may be planted and left standing. Pop corn will be found particu-
laiillay valuable, as large corn can not easily be swallowed by the
.:!! younger birds. Buckwheat, and in the South the nutritious cowpea,
11 and the climbing false buckwheat, the thick tangles of which also
,4Aofrdgood cover, bear excellent food. Other plants of the genus
ME fO 0vr

Polygonumrn are fond of moist land, and furnish palatable seeds for
the bobwhite; for instance, black bindweed (Polygonum convolvu-
lus), Pennsylvania persiearia' (Persicaria pennsylvanicum), and
black heart (Persicaria lapathifolia). All wild leguminous plants
should be left undisturbed, for the birds feed on seeds of most of our
legumes. Small clumps of locusts may well be left in open fields to
give both food and cover. Tick trefoil, bush clover, Japan clover,
the milkpea, and the wild bean-all wild plants-are suitable for
food. Of the summer fruits the dewberry is the most important, and
in the absence of water furnishes a substitute; therefore these vines,
nearly everywhere plentiful, should be left in places remote from
water. A water supply is of course important. Streams with bush-
grown banks through open fields are most valuable. Beside them
will be found spreading panicum (Panicum proliferum), which shells
out its grain a kernel or two at a time until well into spring. Birds
find food, shade, water, and shelter in the vegetation along small
stream's. Marshes also afford cover and food. If connected with
estuaries they often support a rank growth of wild rice, an ideal
provision for birds. Sufficient shelter to protect the birds from
hawks is almost indispensable. Oak and beech woods supply mast as
well as shelter, but pines afford the best cover, and some of them,
notably the longleaf pine, furnish food. A comfortable retreat for
the coldest weather is invaluable. In Maryland and Virginia fields
of heavy broomsedge answer this purpose well, but best of all is a
steep bank with southern exposure, where the sun quickly melts the
snow, and gives the birds a chance to forage on bare spots for food
and gravel. If such a bank is not far from cover, and has a growth
of briers on it to give the birds a feeling of security, it will become a
favorite winter haunt and during severe weather is the best place to
scatter grain. With a little help from man the bobwhite will be
found to winter well even in the northern part of its range.
Bobwhite is prolific. A pair of birds under favorable conditions
will raise a dozen young in a season. Thenf, too, it is long lived, for
a bird kept in captivity is known to have reached the age of 9 years.a
The outlook for the future of the species is most satisfactory, pro-
vided it is given even a small amount of care, with proper legal pro-
tection. The Audubon societies, with a membership of 65,000 to
70,000, which cherish the bobwhite for esthetic and humanitarian rea-
sons, the sportsman who loves the whirr of its brown wings, and the
farmer, whose enemies it. destroys and whose resources it increases,
can do much to favor the b)ird in its natural environment and to pro-
tect it lby adequate and effectively enforced laws.
a 'orest and Stream, Vii, p. 407, 1876,

l Uied also feeding experiments with three pairs of captive
f: obtained from Kansas.
b%:)id's digestive organs are well adapted to the character of its
e stomach, or gizzard, as it is commonly called, is provided
powerful muscles for grinding the hard seeds on which the bird
.y .mabsists. The crop, a sac like enlargement of the esophagus,
flis membranous receptacle for first receiving the food, and is
Miut muscles. Its capacity ii usually from four to six times that

Sbobwhite is insectivorous as well as graminivorous. It is, in
.... .n of our most nearly omnivorous species. In addition to
%iifnzit, leaves, buds, tubers, and insects, it has been known to eat
p.C.. myriapods, crustaceans, mollusks, and even batrachians.
Ci "f.od for the year as a whole, calculated by volume and deter-
lim .by analysis of the contents of 918 stomachs, consisted of vege-
*M. matter, 83.59 per cent, and animal matter, 16.41 per cent. In
khiion, there was mineral matter varying in amount from 1 to 5
* c" "....entm of the gross contents of the stomachs, and in exceptional cases
Mu" to 30 per cent. This usually consisted of sand, with coarser
ti6 of quartz 2 to 7 mm. in diameter, which were taken to pulverize
I4. food and thus render it easier of assimilation.
The'viegetable part of the food consisted of grain, 17.38 per cent;
rious seeds,'chiefly weeds, 52.83 per cent; fruit, 9.57 per cent, and
leous vegetable matter, 3.81 per cent. The animal matter in
t~.~Tfowas distributed as follows: Beetles, 6.92 per cent; grass-
| i ': .':i.:.".. ..' .. :' "..
S8.71 per cent; bugs, 2.77 per cent; caterpillars, 0.95 per
l miscellaneous insects, 0.70 per cent; and other invertebrates,
*kgey spiders, 1.36 per cent.
insect food of bobwhite, in comparison with that of other
rdw, is interesting. It includes fewer caterpillars, ants, and other
-Ar 111 31 but more bugs; and, singularly enough in a terrestrial
.. ........ ...,..:....
AS]: h .: T- ii:"::i:'::L.:... ..... ... .. .


feeder, nearly twice as large a proportion of beetles as of graa- "
hoppers. The meadow lark, per contra, another terrestrial feeder,
takes 29 pert cent of grasshoppers and only 18 per cent of beetles.
The food of the bobwhite for the year is noteworthy in several
respects. Its character varies with the season. From October to
March it consists almost exclusively of vegetable matter-for Febru-
ary and March 99.8 per cent of vegetable food appearing in analysis-
while in late spring and in summer it is made up largely of insects,
August showing 44.1 per cent of insect food. The grain taken, as a
rule, is derived neither from newly sown fields nor from standing
crops, but is gleaned from stubble fields after harvest. Grain forms
a less prominent part of the food than the seeds of weeds, which are
the most important element of all and make up one-half of the food
for the year. The most distinctive feature of this, as a whole, is the
large proportion-15.52 per cent-of leguminous seeds, a food seldom
eaten by the various species of sparrows or other terrestrial feeders.
A small fraction of this seed comes from cultivated plants, especially
the cowpea; the rest is derived from wild plants, most of them
classed as weeds. Leguminous seeds appear to be most largely con-
sumed during December, when they form 25 per cent of the food.
The 15.05 per cent of insect food, although a comparatively small
part of the total, is of extreme importance, since it contains many
pests that are generally avoided by nongallinaceous birds. Note-
worthy among these are the potato beetle, twelve-spotted cucumber
beetle, striped cucumber beetle, squash ladybird beetle, various cut-
worms, the tobacco worm, army worm, cotton worm, cotton bollworm,
the clover weevil, cotton boll weevil, imbricated snout beetle, May
beetle, click beetle, the red-legged grasshopper, Rocky Mountain
locust, and chinch bug.
It should I)Ce observed that in the search for these pests and for
weed seeds the bobwhite, unlike many birds of the woodland, hedge-
row, and orchard, extend(ls its foraging to the center of the largest
fields, thus protecting the growing crops.
Vegetable matter has long been known to be an important element
of the food of the bobwhite; indeed, many people suppose that it
constitutes the entire food of the bird. The impression that the bob-
white eats little else than grain has prevailed even among many
sportsmen who have bagged most of their game in the stubble field.
Trhe present analysis, however, discloses that grain forms scarcely
more than one-sixth of the food. Laboratory study shows that it is
eaten in every month of the year, the maximum amount, 46 per cent
of the food for the month, having been taken in March. In the

As experiments with captive birds failed to show marked
!~iv ncs for either corn or wheat, the disproportion between the
... above noted is probably due to the fact that more corn than
wWh.t is grown in the country where our birds were obtained. The
i n!! ning, cereal food (1.25 per cent of the total) is miscellaneous
pain ...including Kafir corn, sorghum, millet, buckwheat, barley, oats,

Qrat-eatng birds are likely to do much harm to crops. They may
pull up sprouting grain, plunder the standing crop when it is in the
lmilk or forage among the sheaves at harvest time. The bobwhite,
iwe^ver, is a notable exception. The period of germination is the
tim'::: e when grain is liable to serious injury by birds. But not a sin-
j ile sprouting kernel was found in the crops and stomachs of quails
. Field observations,, during the years 1899 and 1900, at
Marshall Hall gave similar evidence. While crows injured sprout-
"iluig corn so seriously during May that several extensive replantings
were necessary, bobwhites, unusually abundant in the vicinity at the
amae time, were never seen to disturb the germinating grain. During
November, 1899, sprouting wheat was saved from crow blackbirds
; only by diligent use of the shotgun; but both then and in other sea-
sons the bobwhite was rarely observed in winter-wheat fields and
never was seen to molest the crop. Sprouting oats apparently were
not :molested, though extended observations were not made. No data
.a available for rye and millet, but in newly sown buckwheat fields
in Essex County, N. J., which the writer saw ravaged by doves, there
was no sign of injury by the bobwhites. Publications on economic
Sornithology and reports received by the Biological Survey add tes-
timony of like character. It may safely be stated, therefore, that so
Sfar as at present known the bobwhite does no appreciable harm to
sprouting grain.
In order to learn to what extent the species injures ripening grain,
observations were made for several years at Marshall Hall. Unlike
the crow and several kinds of blackbirds, the bobwhite did no damage
there to corn in the milk, nor did it injure ripening wheat and oats.
Flocks of English sparrows, however, might be seen feeding on
wheat in the milk, and not uncommonly a score of goldfinches swayed
on the panicles of ripening oats. A hen bobwhite shot in a field of
Stripe wheat, June 18, 1903, had much of the grain in its crop, though
I whether obtained from standing heads or from fallen kernels did not
Appear. As the bobwhite usually feeds on the ground, and as it was
I, never seen feeding from the stalk at Marshall Hall, it appears prob-
llable that it seeks only the fallen grain. At wheat harvest it follows
ii'iimi[iii:i .

tne binder, anu at Marsnall na was otten seen m tne harvest new
picking up scattered wheat. It was not observed there on the shocks, .1
appearing to find an abundance of waste kernels. At corn harvest
also bobwhite takes its share from exposed ears; but the bird is not
able to shuck corn, as do the crow and the wild goose. Several crops
of ripe oats at Marshall Hall were watched during harvest time and
furnished no evidence against the bobwhite. No report of injury
by it elsewhere at harvest time has come to the Biological Survey,
though damage may be done where peculiar local conditions conjoin
with an overabundance of birds.
The bobwhite, however, is a persistent stubble feeder. As Mr.
Sandys puts it, "He is the gleaner who never reaps, who guards the
growing crops, who glories over a bounteous yield, yet is content to
watch and wait for those lost grains which fall to him by right."
Where fields of wheat stubble support a rank growth of ragweed the.
sportsman is most likely to find a feeding covey. At Marshall Hall,
during September, October, and November, such fields are the favorite
haunts of the birds. On this farm corn has a greater acreage than
wheat, but the birds are much less often found in corn stubble; and,
as stomach examinations show, they eat much less corn than wheat.
Since experiments with captive birds showed no preference for wheat,
food other than grain may have kept them on the wheat stubble.
Along the Roanoke in Virginia, where wheat is not grown, bobwhites
feed in corn fields.
On the Western prairies, where cornstalks left standing in the fields
afford good cover, the birds are more often found in cornfields. Six
birds collected from such fields in November, 1891, at Badger, Nebr.,
contained 181 whole kernels of corn; the smallest number in a crop
was 20 and the largest 48.
It is not unusual to find from 100 to 200 grains of wheat in a crop.
A bobwhite shot at West Appomattox, Va., in December, 1902, had
its crop distended almost to bursting with 508 grains of wheat. This
habit of gleaning waste grain after harvest is beneficial to the farm,
for volunteer grain is not desirable, especially where certain insect
pests or parasitic fungi are to be combated. As the scattered kernels
are often too far afield to be gathered by domestic poultry, the serv-
ices of the bobwhite in this respect are especially useful.
The bobwhite sometimes eats the seeds of certain cultivated legu-
minous plants. Both the black-eye and the clay cowpeas (Vigna sinen-
.*sis) have been found in stomachs, and one contained 35 peas of the lat-
ter variety. In Westmoreland and Mecklenburg counties, Va., cowpea
patches are favorite resorts for the birds in November and December.
Garden peas were found in crops collected by Mr. Walter Hoxie at
Frogmore, S. C. In rare instances the bobwhite picks up clover

N 1,tUUU millet sees. r o sigmncant damage to miznet nas neen
!iquto and the birds may secure most of this food from stubble

.... ......WEED SEEDS AS FOOD.
ii~! ? i.. . .. ...
.....Weeds.. i appropriate the space, light, water, and food of the plants
at directly or indirectly support man. A million weeds may spring
u o a single acre, and a single plant of one of these species may
ma..... ture ... 100,000 seeds in a season. This process, if unchecked, may
Sr:i od::--uce in the spring of the third year 10,000,000,000 weeds. The
'-:problem of weed destruction is perennial in every land; indeed, soil
cultture may be called a never ceasing war against weeds. Of the
irds that aid the farmer in this strug-
e the bobwhite, the native sparrows,
and the mourning dove are the most ,
S cient. they attack weeds at that
.tal stage-the seed period-hence q J
their work, especially against the an-
nuals which depend on seeds for per-
petuation, is of enormous practical
I "uei. FIG. 1.-Seed of witch grass (Panicuu
S The bobwhite is preeminently a capiare). (From Bnl. a3S. Nevada
seed eater, 52.83 per cent of its food Agricultural Experiment Station.)
for the year consisting of seeds. The bulk of these are the seeds
of plants belonging to the general category of weeds. Many of
them are injurious plants with which the farmer is constantly at
strife; others are less noxious and some are seldom, if ever, trouble-
some. Sixty-odd species are known to be eaten, and thorough obser-
vations would probably raise the number to a hundred or more. The
food of no other bird with which the writer is acquainted is so varied.
S.At Marshall Hall and in Mecklenburg and Westmoreland counties,
Va., a somewhat detailed study was made of the weed seed eaten
S by the bird. At Marshall Hall fields of wheat stubble grown up
K to ragweed were favorite feeding grounds. Among others found
there were buttonweed seeds, each like a miniature horsehoof, conm-
plete even to the frog; 20 or 30 of these were sometimes contained in
a single stomach. A number of birds shot on wheat stubble had eaten
i largely of bastard pennyroyal seeds, which are rough and resemble
k blackberry seeds. Goldfinches and other seed eaters also find these
| palatable. Along ditches the abundant grasses-witch grass (fig. 1)
I and spreading.panicum-provide the birds with shade in summer and
. 5112-No. 21---05 --5
r.. .....


a continuous harvest through the winter. The grain, inclosed in a
cylindrical sheath which opens at the top, is rattled out, a few kernels
at a time, by the strong fall And winter winds. Along the same
ditches, especially in damper places among trees and bushes, another
plant, the jewel weed, flourishes. Its ripened seeds, hurled from the
opening pods by elastic coiled springlike valves, are eaten in large
numbers by the bobwhite. The jewel-weed cotyledons are inclosed in
a plain seed coat; but the cotyledons themselves are of a delicate
robin's-egg blue, rounded and colored like tiny turquoises.
Several weeds injurious to truck crops are useful to the bobwhite.
In a field where crab grass as a thick mat had overrun a patch of
yams a covey spent much time gathering the seeds (fig. 2). In


FIG. 2.-Seed of crab grass (Syntherisma sanguinalis). (From Bull. 47. Nevada Agricul-
tural Experiment Station.)

another place where lamb's-quarters was 6 feet high and pigweed
,still higher, a flock of busy weeders could almost always be flushed
at certain hours. Patches of green foxtail grass often attracted a
covey for an evening feed. In the northern part of the ITnited
States this plant grows rank, and in many sections furnishes the
bird its main food for September and October. Near a stream in
a truck flat was a forest of giant ragweed from 8 to 10 feet high,
and here bobwhites were frequently seen picking uip scattered seeds.
Their favorite weed seed, however, is the common, or smaller, rag-
weed. At Marshall Hall this weed springs up, not only on truck
land, but most luxuriantly in wheat, stubble after harvest, covering
the field with a rank growth 3 feet high. When abundant, its seeds
are eaten in the fall more than those of any other plant, supplying
a little (over 16 per cent of the total food during October, November,
and January. The fruits beset with a crowning circlet of spines
arc taken into the crop whole. In the stomach the brown oval seeds
are freed from the sp)iny outer coat, crushed by the powerful muscu-
lar action, and made to yield their rich oily meat to the digestive


O. ..ii..iil.. mining black seeds of smartweed, often a troublesome plant on
.. p.... gound. In Westmoreland County, November, 1901, bobwhites
ed d Ifreely on seeds of climbing false buckwheat, which festoone- ,lI
te uibiShrubbery along streams and afforded the birds admirable cover
;as well as food. The seeds of knot grass (fig. 3), a species related to
the smartweeds and false buckwheat, also
contribute to the food of the bobwhite.
The fondness of bobwhites for leguminous S /
seeds has already been mentioned. On the F
..,edge of woodlands, along hedgerows, and to ,
some extent in open ground, they consume i r
large quantities of seeds of tick-trefoil, t A ..
Japan clover, and bush clover, and their
crops have been found distended with these FIo. 3-Seed of knot grass
(Polygonurn ariculare).
seeds. They also find the partridge pea (From Bull. 38. Nevada Ag-
massed in great patches at Marshall Hall rieniural Experiment St&-
tion. )
Sand in some places in Virginia, but it appears
to be of less importance to them. A few stomachs contained as
many as 100 of these seeds. In several sections the butterfly pea was
eaten in about the same proportion as the partridge pea. The hog
peanut, like the butterfly pea, a trailing plant bearing a small
grayish-brown bean, furnished several times as much food as the
partridge pea and butterfly pea combined. Of these seeds 600 are V9
sometimes eaten at a meal. Southern birds relish the Florida eoffee9 4Y
seeds and lupine seeds. Seeds from locust pods also are frequently oe
eaten by the bobwhite.
In the northeastern part of its range the bobwhite has been reported
as feeding on seeds of the ill-scented skunk cabbage. Four of eight
birds shot in October, 1902, at Wilmington, Mass.. by Edward A.
Preble, of the Biological Survey, had eaten them. These seeds are
somewhat flattened and subspherical, and average about three-eighths
of an inch in diameter. Two crops were filled with them, one con-
taining 10 of these great seeds. This plant, abundant in northern
swamps, may furnish food for birds in game preserves.
Seeds of different species of violets are often eaten. In some cases
the three-valved seed pods, each valve containing a dozen or more
seeds, had been swallowed entire. Seeds make up 50.36 per cent of the
bobwhite's food, and a quantitative study of it shows that the grass
family contributes 9.46 per cent; leguminous plants, 15.52 per cent;
smartweed and other polygonums, 4.41 per cent: ragweed, 7.28 per
cent; and miscellaneous weeds, 13.69 per cent. The number of seeds



eaten at a meal may suggest the value of the bird as a weed destroyer.
As many as 200 to 300 smartweed seeds, 500 seeds of red sorrel, and
700 seeds of three-seeded mercury have been taken at a meal. Crops
and stomachs crammed with nothing but ragweed seeds are often
found. A bird shot November 6, 1902, at Marshall Hall, had eaten
1,000 ragweed akenes; another killed there the previous November
had eaten as many seeds of crab grass. Birds shot in Mecklenburg
County, Va., contained about 2,000 leguminous seeds, mainly tick-
trefoil, and various kinds of bush clover. A bird shot in October,
1902, at Pine Brook, N. J., had eaten 5,000 seeds of green foxtail
grass, and one killed on Christmas day, 1901, at Kinsale, Va., had
taken about 10,000 pigweed seeds.


The list of seeds eaten, excluding mast and pine seeds, is as follows:

Slender paspalum (Paspalum seta-
ecuin ).
Slender finger grass (Slnthierismia fili-
form if).
Crab grass (Syntherixi.a sanguinalis).
Barnyard grass (Echinochloa 'rurs-
Barlied paniculn (Paiinicimn barbula-
t u111).
Switch grass, tall smooth panicum
(Panicnl1n rirgatiumn ).
Spreading iamnicum (Panicaiti prolif-
('i'11ill I)
Witch grass (Panieam capillare).
Yellow foxtail (Ch(rtochloa r. laitca).
(;reenii foxtail (Chia'tochioa riridis,?).
Timothy (Phlemin prateiinse).
Sheathed rush grass (Sporobolus rasi-
Slender spike grass (Uni ola laxna).
Wild rice (Zizania aquatica.
Nut griss (('Cpt'rix. rotundu I).
t.ushl (Ncirp ius?).
Sedge ( ('arf',r Sl. ).
Tu ,rssck s(edge ( ('ar.r .lrirla ).
Skunk cvatlage (Npathyriima frrtida).
Red sorrel (I unier .('etolrhlai).
Curled dock (Riime.r crispun).
Palhe lpersicarila (Perfstearia lopathii-
j'ehnisylvailia persicaria ( I'ernicaria
r'iil.rl/lrallc'a ).
Simarl'tweled ( Prnivitiriai iydropiper).
Kniotweed ( P'olygo mm a ricalare).

Black bindweed (Polygonam conroliry-
Climbing false buckwheat (7Tiniaria
Lamb's quarters (Chenopodium al-
buw ).
Rough pigweed (Amaranth us retro-
Carpet weed (MollHugo verticillata).
Corn cockle (Agrosten ma gith ago).
Chickweed (.4Alsine media).
Charlock (Raphan us raphan istruin).
Witch hazel (HamanieUlis virginiana).
,Acacia (A.4cacia si).).
Redbud (Cercis canadensis).
Sensitive pea (Chamwrcrista nietitans).
Partridge pea (Chaanucrista fascicu-
Cassia (Cassia sp.).
Lupine (Luipinan sp.).
Clover (Trifolitm sp.).
Trefoil (Lotus sp.).
Psoralea (Psoralea sp.).
Locust (Robinia pseudacacia).
Florida coffee (ASeCfban miacrocarpa).
Tick-trefoil (.Mribouia inudiflora and
MAl. qranifora).
Hairy bush clover (Lespedeza hirta).
Creeping bush clover (Lespedeza re-
Bush clover (Lespedeza violacea).
Japan clover (Lcspedeza striata).
Vetchl (V'icia sp.).
Ilog peanut (Falcata comnosa).


"IIng' *0 wild bean (Strophostyles hel-
1" !!!, Wi,. Ie:.: ).
l'mla wild bean (Stroph9wtyle urmbel-

:X, w i. bill (Geranium carolinianum).
*ikow sorrel (Oxalis stricta).
(k oton (Croton sp.).
i2. Texas croton (Croton terensis).
":*^-t nlleeded mercury (Acalypia gla-
Apotted spurge (Euphorbia inaculata).
lIowering spurge (Euphorbia corol-
Red maple (Acer rubrum).
Box elder (Rulac negundo).
Jewel weed (Impatiens sp.).
Sda (Sitda spinosa).
Violet (Viola sp.).
Asb (Frarinus sp.).
Morning glory (ipomwa. sp.).

vkJA a YfLaas fTW 4: a i qmJ f & 1 o1P L I rsf e ro a % -
Hoary pumccoon (Ltthospermum canes-
Gromuwell (Lit hospermn um officinale).
Vervain (Verbena stricta.
Bastard pennyroyal (Trichostema
Ribgrass (Plantago lanceolata).
Button weed (Diodia teres).
Trumpeit creeper (Canipnis radicans).
Orange hawkweed (Hieracium auran-
tiacum ).
Marsh elder (Ira ciliata).
Giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida).
Ragweed (Ambrosia artemnisiaffolia).
Everlasting (Antennaria sp.).
Sunflower (Helianthus sp.).
Common sunflower (Helianthus an-
11u 18).
Crownbeard (Verbesina sp.).
Beggar ticks (Bidens sp.).


Mast, including acorns of the swamp oak (Quercus palustris), the
white oak (Q. atba), beechnuts, the blue beech (Carpinus carolini-
aia), and the chestnut, amounts to 2.47 per cent of the food of the
In the pine lands of Florida the bobwhite freely eats the seeds of
the long-leaf pine (Pinus palustris). Of the 39 birds from Walton
County (November, December, and January, 1902 and 1903), 21 had
their crops and stomachs mainly filled with this nutritious food.
They had usually clipped off the wings of the samaras close to the
large seeds. Several crops were full of germinating pine seeds. some
of the embryos having cotyledons 2 inches long. In the region about
SWashington the seeds of the scrub pine (Pinu8 rirginiana) also are
eaten to a small extent. The fact that these seeds are a good winter
food should be remembered by holders of game preserves. Observa-
tions show that the key seeds of the maple also are eaten, though
much less extensively.
S Unlike the catbird and the cedarbird, whose food consists, respec-
tively, of 50 and 87 per cent of fruit, the food of bobwhite for the
year includes only 9.57 per cent of fruit. It is least frugivorous
in spring and most so in June and in December and January. taking
20.1 per cent in the summer month and a little over 18 per cent during
the two winter months. If more birds collected in June had been


available for examination, probably the percentage of fruit would
have been lower. The December percentage is evidently character-
istic, for it was based on the examination of about 200 stomachs.
In early spring wild winter-cured berries, in May strawberries,
later the Rtbu fruits-thimbleberry, dewberry, and highbush black-
berry-and in late summer and autumn an endless profusion of the
year's wild harvest yield the bobwhite an accessible and abundant
i'ood supply. In late fall and winter, when snow covers the seeds,
fruit doubtless keeps it from starving. In December it forms nearly
one-fifth of the food for the month. Sumac. wax-myrtle, rose, and
bayberry are the main winter supply. Poison-ivy berries are eaten
occasionally. Rose hips often project from the snow and furnish
timely food. At Falls Church, Va., and at Cabin John Bridge and
Marshall Hall, Md., tracks of coveys in deep snow led up to rose
shoots to which partly eaten hips were clinging. Sumac and other
plants of the genus Rhus form 1.60 per cent of the annual food, and
during December the proportion of Rh?/s alone is 10.50 per cent. Of
12 birds shot during December at Porters Landing, S. Dak., near the
bobwhite's northern limit, by W. C. Colt, each had eaten from 100 to
300 of the carmine suimac berries, and altogether the sumnac had
furnished 90 per cent of the food they contained. Bayberry and
wax-myrtle are as important along the coast as sumacs are inland.
Berries of wax-mivrtle were found in the stomachs of 15 out of 39
Birds collected during November, December, and January. 1902 and
1903, in Walton County, Fla. One hundred and twenty bayberries
liad been eaten )bv one bird taken in July, 1901, at Shelter Island,
N. Y. Both these fruits last through the winter and well into May,
affording excellent provision just when it is most needed.
In spite of its frugivorous tastes and constant association with
orchard crops, the bobwhite is not often known to injure cultivated
fruits. M. B. Waite reports that near Oderiton, Md., it sometimes
picks ripening strawberries. Yet birds that were kept in captivity
several iloniths refused strawberries when they were hungry. Cul-
tivated cherries were foiiiund in a few stomachs, )but the bobwhite is
not an arlboreal feeder and does not damage this crop. During June
at Marshall hall it was repeatedly observed feeding greedily upon
I lie fruit of running (lewl)erry vines. It probably does no serious
1harml, however, to cult i rated )ulsh varieties of RJ1bi,', such as the
tliiinIlel)herry, the raspberry, and the blackberry. It is fond of wild
grapes, and a nl1umb)er of ('rolps each contained as many as 25 frost
grapes ( I'dt's. .,rdifolia). Hence it might be expected to injure
clilt i ated varieties, for its relative, the California quail, sometimes
plunders vineyards; but, so far as the writer knows, vineyards in the
East have sustained no appreciable damage from the bobwhite.
In .sumnuing lup the frugivorous habits of the bobwhite, it may be

rin sting to note, also, that the bobwhite is not nearly so frugiv-
as the ruffed grouse.


Although the percentage of wild fruits yearly consumed is compar-
I irely small, the variety is great, as shown by the appended list,
which includes only those actually ascertained to have been eaten. A
,i few careful observers could easily double the number.

" Oabbage palmetto (Inodes palmetto).
Stw palmetto (Serenoa serrulata).
Slomon's seal (Polygonatumn).
Ckeenbrler (Smilax sp.).
Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera).
Bayberry (Myrica carolinensi.).
Mulberry (Morus rubra).
Sassafras (Sassafras sassafras).
Thilmbleberry (Rubus occidentalis).
High bush blackberry (Rubus nigro-
Dewberry (Rubua procumbens).
Strawberry (Fragaria sp.).
Rose (Rosa).
Haw (CratWgus sp.).
Apple (Matus malus).
Cultivated cherry (Prunus sp.).
Wild cherry (Prunuis serotina).
Poison ivy (Rhus radicans).
Dwarf sumac (Rhus copallina).
Staghorn sumac (Rhus hirta).

Smooth scarlet sumac (Rhus glabra).
Holly (lIex opaca).
Black alder (lex verticillata).
Climbing bittersweet (Celastrus scan-
Frost grape (Vitis cordifolia).
Flowering dogwood (Cornuts florida).
Sour gum (Nyssa sylvatica).
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens).
Huckleberry (Gaylussacia sp.).
Blueberry (Vaceiniumni sp.).
Ground-cherry (PhysaUlis pubescens).
Nightshade (Solanum nigrum).
Elder (Sambucus canadensis).
Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium).
Honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.).
Partridge berry (Mitchella repens).
Sarsaparilla (Aralia).
Woodbine (Parthenocissus quinquefo-


The bobwhite does not approach the ruffed grouse in destructive-
ness to leaves, buds, and tender shoots, though occasionally it samples
them. It eats the leaves of sorrel sometimes, both yellow sorrel
(Ocealis stricta) and red sorrel (Rumex acetosella). It has been
known to take the leaves of cinquefoil (Potentilla), and is extremely
fond of both red and white clover. Captive birds ate grass, lettuce,
and chickweed.

Notwithstanding statements to the contrary, published and unpub-
lished, the bobwhite eats insects in every month of the year. They
form 15.05 per cent of its entire food for the year. From June to
; August, inclusive, when insects are most numerous, their proportion
in the food is 35.97 per cent. The variety of insect food is large.



In the present investigation 116 species have been noted, and further
study will doubtless greatly increase the number. Moreover, the
large proportion of injurious insects habitually eaten renders the
services of this bird more valuable than those of many birds whose
percentage of insect food, though greater, includes a smaller propor-
tion of injurious species. Conspicuous among the pests destroyed
are the Colorado potato beetle, twelve-spotted cucumber beetle, bean
leaf-beetle, squash ladybird, wireworms and their beetle, and May
beetles. Its food also includes such weevils as corn billbugs, imbri-
cated snout beetle, clover leaf weevil, cotton boll weevil; also the
striped garden caterpillar, army worm, cotton bollworni, and various
species of cutworms; also the corn-louse ants, red-legged grasshopper,
Rocky Mountain locust, and chinch bug. The bobwhite does not
merely sample these species, as do many other birds; it eats
some of them in considerable numbers, for crops examined have
contained, respectively, a dozen cutworms, an equal number of army
worms, 30 Rocky Mountain locusts, and 47 cotton boll weevils. This
bird also destroys striped cucumber beetles by the score, potato beetles
by the hundred, and chinch bugs in great numbers. From June to
August, inclusive, insects and their allies form, as previously men-
tioned, about a third of the food. Of this beetles make up nearly
half, or 15.37 per cent; bugs, 8.54 per cent; caterpillars, 1.37 per cent;
grasshoppers, .0.93 per cent; miscellaneous insects, 1.33 per cent, and
spiders, with other invertebrates, 2.43 per cent.


The beetles most largely destroyed are ground beetles, leaf-eating
beetles, and weevils. Naturally, because of the terrestrial habits of
the, bobwhite, ground beetles, in spite of their vile odor and irritating
secretions, are picked up oftener than the other kinds. Experiments
with caged birds prove that even the most pungent forms are relished.
Grounlld beetles are 1numerouls in species and sul)erabundant in indi-
viduals. One c(an form no adequate idea of their numbers except at
night. Arc lights kill them by thousands. The writer has known
one species (HJIari'lu. peJusliy/,,iici',s) to enter open windows in the
evening inll swarms. They have an irritating secretion, which if
al)plied to the skin soon raises a blister. Ground beetles are more or
less p)re(ldaceolIs. lhence tlie whole family was formerly considered
Itelhfi'icll. Later sttidy has resulted in their division into three
classes:" The nto4 carivorous species, possessing sharp, curved jaws
for capl)tllring and killing other insects: the least predaceous forms,
having blunt jaws and eating considerable vegetable matter: and a
class ilterilediate between these two. The first class contains highly
Ienleficial beetles which destroy great nuiml)ers of insect pests, while
tlhe blunt-jawed class includes some injurious species that feed on

*.4i the twelve-spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica 12-punctata),
and te squash ladybird (Epilachna borealis). The first named is
psiaps more correctly termed the Colorado potato beetle. It was
ni a: !tive of the Rocky Mountains originally, feeding on the horse-
. little (olanum rostratum), a plant related to the potato. It began
to *migrate eastward a year or two before the civil war, and fifteen
* i /sixteen years later reached the Atlantic coast. Since then, as
r"... :.. .. ...
Spvery-one knows, this beetle has threatened the potato crop of the
i|||uftray. Birds as a rule avoid it because of its secretions. There- the bobwhite's services in destroying it should be highly valued,
iitlhemOre so because the bird's habit of eating the potato bug is not
ieinl occasiodhal nor limited to special localities. Records have
0a nW... to the Biological Survey from New Jersey, Virginia, Mary-
L bud Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and Ontario; and it is believed
.t. .more extended observations will show that the habit is general
S bheever the birds and the beetles inhabit the same district. During
:st week of June, at Marshall Hall, a pair of birds was observed
ng rows of badly infested potato vines and diligently picking
b ee:tles. Writing of the bird's relation to this insect, (. E.
i! iiiiib,"!ii,...... i ....
.. .. ..... ...


Romaine, of Crockett, Tex., says: "Quail have built their nests
around my fence and even in my garden, within 50 feet of my house.
They have kept my potato patch entirely free from the Colorado
potato bug." Three captive bobwhites dispatched 50 potato beetles
in five minutes, swallowing them whole, apparently with great zest.
No food offered them was eaten with more avidity. Thomas Mcll-
wraith says a recent writer mentions that he examined the crop of
one which was killed as it rose from a potato patch and found that
it contained 75 potato bugs.a Lawrence Bruner reports 101 of these
beetles found in a single crop.b Such wholesale destruction of these
pests throughout a large territory is an invaluable aid to agriculture.
The two species of cucumber beetles (Diabrotica vittata and D.
12-punctata) are highly injurious to cucumbers, squashes, melons,
and corn, much of the harm being caused by their larvae, which feed
on the roots of infested crops and are difficult to combat successfully
with insecticides. The bobwhite eats them freely without ill effect,
though examination seldom reveals them in the stomachs of other
birds. Indeed, captive birds of all the othet species experimented
with have refused them, probably because of their offensive secre-
To some extent the bobwhite feeds also on certain leaf beetles,
known, from their jumping powers, as flea beetles. Its favorites
appear to be the three-lined potato beetle (Lema trilineata), some-
times an ally of the potato beetle in the potato patch, JEdionychus
fimbriata, and several members of the genus Disonycha. The golden
tortoise beetle (Coptocycla bicolor), an insect that looks like a drop
of molten gold and is an enemy of the sweet potato, is also eaten.
The locust leaf-mining beetle (Odontota dorsalis) is another victim
of the bird. Its larvae tunnel between the surfaces of locust leaves
and kill the foliage. In 1895 the ravages of this pest turned the
locust-fringed bluffs on the Potomac below Washington as brown as
if touched by fire.
The agriculturist finds weevils hard to cope with, on account of
their small size, protective coloration, and retiring mode of life.
Birds, however, destroy them in large numbers, often a score or two
at a meal, and bobwhite does his share of the work. He often eats
two common species that feed on clover leaves (Sitones hispidulus
and Phytonomw.i pun status), and preys also on the two billbugs
(Sphenophorus parvulus and Sphenophorus zew), the latter injurious
to corn. He relishes also that notorious garden pest, the imbricated
snout beetle. His most important weevil prey is the Mexican cotton
boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis). In 1894 this insect first crossed
the Mexican border into Texas. During 1903 it caused a loss of

b Notes on Nebraska Birds, p. 80, 1896.



a Birds of Ontario, p. 170, 1894.

ilte ville, Tex., in writing to the Bureau of Entomology, says that
mops of bobwhites shot at Beeville, Tex., were filled with these
WV .9i l H. G. Wood, of Cuero, Tex., in a letter dated September
21;.-1 .901, relating to the weevil scourge, says:
.6ev, el of our business men and farmers are of the opinion that the quail
:01W'D be made a vehicle for the destruction of the cotton boll weevil. One farmer
X 'Wi rrt his cotton fields full of quail, and the entire absence of weevils. He
buii 47 weevils in the craw of one bird. * I claim quail are the
,utest Insect destroyers of all birds. We propose to prohibit the
i g of quail in this county this season, hoping thereby to save a great por-
mft. of the cotton crop next- season.
Tle click beetles, the larvae of which are the wireworms so inim-
icW to corn and other plants of the grass family; scarabceid beetles.
though in smaller numbers; dung beetles, when numerous, and May
beetles, parents of the injurious white grub, are eaten by the bobwhite.
-The May beetle (Lachnosterna sp.) and its near relative, Ligyrus gib-
bosw, were eagerly eaten by captive birds. The useful ladybirds
S(Coccdneillidw) are sometimes found in the bird's crop, but, judging
: frdm experiments with caged birds, do not appear to be highly rel-
ished. Adalia bipunctata was several times offered and refused, but
was finally eaten. The one harmful beetle of the family, the squash
ladybird (Epiachna borealis), has been found in stomachs and was
relished by captive birds. Certain miscellaneous beetles belonging
to different families are occasionally picked up, such as rove beetles,
soldier beetles, darkling beetles, histerid beetles, and longicorn beetles.


The beetles known to be eaten by the bobwhite include the fol-

aQOUND Bzrrzs (Carabidse):
Soarites subterraneus.
Amara sp.
Casnonia pennsylvanica.
Platynus eatensicollis.
S Agonoderus pallipes.
S Herpalus pennsylvanicus.
Harpalus calignosus.
Anxsodaetylus rusticus.
Aisodactylus baltimorensis.
FrA BEEns (Chrysomelidse):
Lem trilineata.
Oryptocephal venustus.
:Colsepta brunnea.

LEAF BEETLEs-Continued.
Nodonota tristis.
Leptinotarsa decemlineata (potato
Chrysomela pulchra.
Chrysomela suturalis.
Cerotoma trifurcata (bean leaf-
Diabrotica vittata (striped cucum-
ber beetle).
Diabrotica 12-punctata (twelve-spot-
ted cucumber beetle).
(Edion ychis fim briata.
Disonycha 5-vittata.

SCircular 27, new series, Division of Entomology, p. 6, 1897.

Disonycna ranrnomeitEna.
Disonycha crenicollis.
Psylliodes punctulata.
Microrhopala vittata.
Odontota dorsalis (locust leaf-min-
ing beetle).
(Coptoeycla bicolor (golden tortoise
MAY BEETLES (Scarabeide) :
Onthophagus pennsylvan icus (dung
Aphodius inguinatus (dung beetle).
Serica sp.
Diplotaxis sp. (leaf-chafer).
Lachnosterna Iristis (MAy beetle).
Anomala sp.
Aphonus sp.
SNOUT BEETLES (suborder Rhynchoph-
ora) :
Thecesternts hi umnieralis.
Epicwrus im bricatus imbricatedd
snout beetle).
Tatnymecus confertus.
Aramnigus fulleri (Fuller's rose
Sitones hispidulus (clover weevil).
Phytonomus punctatus (clover-leaf

AMtROnomu grana. tMexiean cot-
ton boll weevil).
Ohaloodermus collaris.
Centrinus sp.
Sphenophorus parvulus (billbug).
Sphenopkorus zew (corn billbug).
CLICK BEETLES (Elateridse) :
Drasterius elegant.
Agriotes sp.
Melanotus cownmmunis.
(Corymbites sp.
LADYBIRDS (Coccinellidle):
Hippodamia parenthesis.
Coccinella sanguinea.
Adalia bipunctata.
Epilachna borealis (squash lady-
HISTE ID BEETLES (Histeridse).
DARKLING BEETLES (Tenebrionid) :
RovE BEETLES (StaphylinidsIe).
Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus.
LONGICORN BEE-TLES (Cerambycid)e):
Tetraopes tetraophthalmua.


The bobwhite eats comparatively more bugs than most birds, in-
cluding both Heteroptera, or true bugs, and Homoptera, which form
2.77 per cent of its food. The maximum number of bugs was taken
in August and amounted to 21.1 per cent of the food for that month.
The chinch bug, which in this country has destroyed over $100,000,-
000 worth of wheat and other cereals in a season, is preyed upon by
the bobwhite throughout the year. C. V. Riley says:" In the winter
time, when hard pushed for food, this bird must devour immense
numbers of the little pests, which winter in just such situations as are
frequented by the quail; and this bird should be protected from the
gun of the sportsman in every State where the chinch bug is known
to run riot."' a The data possessed by the Biological Survey concern-
ing this species are scanty, but they show that the quail destroys the
pest in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.
The number of chinch bugs eaten varies, but usually appears to be
large. Thus a bird shot October 12, 1901, at Badger, Nebr., by
W. C. Colt, had picked up 100, and the American Field for February

a Missouri Reports, II, p. 28, 1870,

A ?MOptera (leaf hoppers and other forms) are eaten by bob-
hoan by most other birds. The little leaf hopper (Oncometopia
Sis especially relished.

4m n'-"n 'HETROPTErrA-Continued.
ss. leuopteruas chinchh bug). CGenus delius.
If .... nagustatus (false chinch Peribalus limbolarius.
.......).. Lygus pratensis (tarnished plant
:tIuailSSw tristigmus (three-spotted bug).
||I,. er bug). Corimeltna sp.
mischte6tu. variolarius. Apiomerus crassipes.
o: *".flue': sp Alydus eurinus.
sp.,.# Gorizue sp.
: knobgmnena i sp. Euthoctha galeator.
bei e" taris. Scutelleridw (shield-backed bugs).
SiarmWvidea lugens. HOMOPTErA :
y.earo. nervos". Oncometopia lateralis.
gg.. wnj:.i n.rtclaS wqualis. Oncometopia sp.
7k1knwta cusEator. Deltocephalus sp.
hA. "t. pugnea. Diedrocephala sp.
Tflchagep.l semivittattp.
E Grasshoppers with a few crickets make 3.71 per cent of the yearly
tsood. In September they contribute 11.9 per cent. The walking
I,$1&, singularly like a twig and at times very numerous and injuri-
sns: to foliage of shade and forest trees, has been found in the stomach
:the bobwhite. Locusts and meadow grasshoppers, both highly
J*tr~ive to vegetation, are favorite articles of diet. The bird
jaaop~per, so called from its size, is occasionally eaten. The de- graishoppers or locusts of the genus Melanoplus, such as
is, M.femur-rbrun, or the red-legged grasshopper, and the
U, y Mountain locust, form the bulk of the orthopterous food of
f upecie. The Rocky Mountain locust is one of the worst of insect
:and its appearance in large numbers is a calamity. It. appears
... clouding the sun and covering the earth, sweeping every
'. .....: .. ..

green thing before it, and often driving the former from home and !
threatening him with starvation. During a single season it has
caused a loss of $100,000,000.
In 1874-75 Samuel Aughey made a special study of a Nebraska
invasion and found that the bobwhites were an active enemy of the
locusts. Of 21 birds shot between May and October, inclusive, all
but five had fed on locusts. The smallest number taken by any bird
was 20 and the largest 39; in all, 539-an average of 25 apiece. C. V.
Riley ascertained that the bird feeds also on the eggs of the locust,
particularly in winter, when they are exposed by the freezing and
thawing of the ground. If every covey destroyed as many locusts
in a day as the one just referred to, it is hard to overestimate the
usefulness of the bobwhite where abundant in infested regions.
The following are a few of the many species of orthopterouss
insects identified from the crops and stomachs of bobwhites:
Cricket (Gryllus sp.). Red-legged grasshopper (Melanoplus
Meadow grasshoppers (Xiphidium, Or- femur-rubrumn).
chelinurn, Scudderia). Grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus,
Ka(tydid (Microcentrum sp.). if. scudderi. M. atlanis).
Walking sticks (Phasmnida'). Bird grasshopper (Schistocerca ameri-
Grouse locust (Tetti.r sp.). cana).
Mountain locust (Melanoplus spretus).
The bobwhite seems to eat fewer caterpillars than would be ex-
pected from its terrestrial habits. The yearly proportion only
formed 0.95 per cent and the maximum quantity eaten in a month
was 4 per cent in May. This apparent neglect of caterpillars as food
is perhaps due to their scarcity where the birds for the present study
were shot. Pupai and adult moths occasionally serve as food.
Whatever the list of species of caterpillars eaten by bobwhite lacks
in length it makes up in importance, for so great a proportion of
serious lepidopterous pests is seldom found in the fare of any bird.
As is true of some other birds, the bobwhite includes the army worm
in its bill of fare. This pest sometimes exists in legions and moves
steadily forward from field to field, devouring corn, oats, forage, and
other crops. Fortunately it is not often active, and the years of its
occurrence are frequently separated by long intervals. Every year,
however, the different species of cutworms do serious damage. They
cut down germinating grain, often before the plants have fairly
sprung above ground. Owing to their mode of feeding, a few worms
may lop off many plants in a night. It seems strange that the bob-
whites find as many of these nocturnal larva' as they do. The cotton
worm, a pest so destructive that in one year it has caused a loss of
$30,000,000 to the cotton fields, is preyed upon by the bobwhite. To-
bacco worms were sparingly eaten by bobwhites at Marshall Hall,

..... July 8, 1903, were devoured in less than two minutes. Cab-
i . .. ......... .....
i M worms (Pontia rapw) and cutworms also were offered and
... ...i ...d i 1 y e a t e n .

worm (Heliophila unipuncta). Yellow bear caterpillar (Diacrisia vir-
4wworm (Agrotis sp.). ginica).
OWtrm (Feltia annexa). Pyralid (Tholeria reversalis).
a 1i4 ioth (Noctuidw).- Purslane sphinx (Deilephila gallii).
00tton worm (Alabanma argillacea). Southern tobacco worm (Phlegethon-
S)lott bollworm (Heliothis obsoleta). tius sextae).
S:.triped garden caterpillar. (Manestra Caterpillar (Junonia ccenia).
a). Pupa (Vanessa sp.).

S Insects of several orders not previously mentioned make up 0.70
per cent of the food of the bobwhite. They include hymenopterous
insects, such as ants (Lasius sp., Tetramorium caspitum, Camponotus
:.ienn/ylvaniCu8) ; gall flies (Cynipidce), which produce bladderlike
growths on plants; in rare instances parasitic wasps (Tiphia inor-
nata and Proctotrypes rufipes) ; crane flies, May flies, and sometimes
true flies, like the green fly (Lucilia ccesar) and the robber fly
(Asilide). The animal food of the bird includes other orders
besides insects. The greater part of this is spiders, chiefly ground
spiders, with a few harvest spiders (Phalangidwe). The common
thousand leg (Julus sp.) sometimes contributes to the food, as it
often does to that of many species of song birds. Snails are more
often taken. Among these Pupa armifera and the pond snail (Suc-
cinea avara) have been identified. The little fresh-water lobster
called crayfish (Cambarus) had furnished the major course for 4
out of 15 birds shot by collectors for S. A. Forbes in Illinois.
Manipulation of these biting crustaceans would appear to be difficult
for a bird no larger than bobwhite. The queerest food eaten is the
toad. B. H. Warren reported Florida birds as feeding on small
f batrachians (probably young toads), and laboratory examination of
Florida birds showed in one case a tiny toad. It is fortunate that
this habit of bobwhite is not general, since the toad is useful and
destroys great numbers of insects.
S During the breeding season a third of the food of adult bobwhites
Consists of insects, while their young, like those of practically all other
Sland birds, consume a much greater proportion of insect food than
....... .:..."
i -iii iii

do their parents. At Marshall Hall, July 24, 19 droppings collected
from two broods of downy chicks-one but a few hours out of the
- shell and the other probably -several days old-consisted wholly of
the remains of insects. Their fragmentary condition made the spe-
cies almost unrecognizable, but the following were identified:
Minute green leaf-eating beetles Weevils (Rhynchophora).
(Chrysomelidw),' at least two spe- Grasshopper (Acrididaw).
cies. Caterpillars (Lepidoptera).
Leaf-eating beetle (Colaspis brunnea). Ants (Formnicidw).
Small scarabTeid beetles (Scaraba'idr), Stink bug (Euschistus?).
two species. Spiders (Arachnida).
Longicorn beetle (Cerambycidaw), one Thousand legs (Julus sp.).
Ground beetles (Cdarabidw), five spe-


(Colin s ridgwayi.)

The masked bobwhite is slightly smaller than the bobwhite of the
Eastern States, and the male differs strikingly, having the chin,
throat, and sides of the head black, and the underside of the body
usually uniform rusty reddish. Since the discovery of the bird little
has been added to our knowledge of its life history beyond some notes
on its distribution, and the fact of its probable extinction within our
borders. It lived on grassy plains covering a limited area in southern
Arizona, south and southwest of Tucson, and ranged into northern
Sonora, Mexico. In regard to the causes leading to the disappearance
of the masked bobwhite, Herbert Brown writes as follows:
The causes leading to the extermination of the Arizona masked bobwhite
(Colinus ridglwuyi) are due to the overstocking of the country with cattle,
supplemented by several rainless years. This combination practically stripped
bthe country bare of vegetation. Of their range the Colinus occupied only
certain restricted portions, and when their food and shelter had been trodden
(ouit of existence by thousands of hunger-dying stock, there was nothing left for
poor little bobwhite to do but go out with them. As the conditions in Sonora
were similar to those in Arizona, birds and cattle suffered in common. The
Arizona bobwhite would have thriven well in an agricultural country, in brushy
fence corners, tangled thickets, and wveed-covered fields, but such things were
not to be had in their habitat. Unless a few can still be found on the Upper
Santa Cruz we can, in truth, bid them a final good-hy.a
Recent information received by the Biological Survey from Sonora
is to the effect that these interesting birds still survive in parts of that
region, and efforts are being made by a game association to obtain
living birds from there to introduce into California. The natural
]lolie of the masked bohwhite, in the hot and arid desert of southern
a Auk., NXXl, p. 213, April, 1904.

F4 bird should be allowed to become extinct, and a determined
0 ibould be made to introduce it into suitable localities before it is

r ond what Herbert Brown has stated we have practically noth-
fiilVon. this bird's habits. He has told us that, like all the birds of the
0U Cdlinus, the males give the well-known' bobwhite' call, and he
i tiiSates their rallying note as 'hoo-we.' He examined the stom-
Basof three birds. The first contained mustard seed, chaparral ber-
vee:six or eight beetles, and other insects; the second only a single
.pmWihopper an inch long, and the third contained 20 ants, several
cria eut-shaped seeds, and a large number of mall, fleshy green

Si. t 3is stated by Bendire that in Sonora Benson found these birds
y in fields where wheat and barley had been grown. Probably
i4.e1 the bird's general habits may be safely assumed to be similar to
....e of its relative, bobwhite.
(Lophortyx californicus.)a
S..... The California quail is generally dispersed over California below
an altitude of 8,000 feet and extends into southern Oregon and west-
ern Nevada. It has been introduced into Washington and British
Columbia, and efforts to introduce it into the Hawaiian Islands also
have proved very successful, although of late years its numbers
there have been much reduced by the mongoose, by which in time it
is likely to be exterminated. Two geographic forms of the bird are
recognized, a dark form and a light one, but as they do not differ in
.habits they are not distinguished in the following account. It is a
beautiful bird with a most pleasing combination of colors and mark-
I gs, its head being adorned by a glossy black crest, narrow at the
ase and gradually widening into gracefully recurving plumes, and
the markings on the' underparts resembling scales. It frequents
Sbrush-covered hillsides, canyons, thickets along water courses and
the borders of roads, as well as vineyards and other cultivated fields.
The nesting time of the species varies considerably according to
localityy and conditions. According to E. A. Mearns it nests in March
and April in Ventura County, Cal. Nests containing eggs were found
iT:,bhis name is used here to cover both the typical California quail (Lophortyw
niloifmi s) and the paler, more southerly form, called the valley quail (L. ca

during the last week of May in Tulare County, Cal., by J. E. McLel-
lan. The eggs usually number, 12 to 15, and are white or buff with
These birds take kindly to civilization, and flocks are not rarely
seen in the suburbs of large towns, where they range through the
gardens and orchards. .They often nest close to farm buildings, and
W. Otto Emerson states that a pair nested within a rod of his front
door, though nearly every hour people and vehicles were passing
within four feet of the nest.
Instead of spending the night in a circle on the ground, like the
bobwhite, the California quail chooses much safer places and roosts
in bushes or low thickly foliaged trees. This quail is even more con-
fiding than the bobwhite, and frequently comes about farm buildings
to eat with the chickens. It has been known to lay in confinement,
and appears to yield readily to semidomestication.
The valley quail has acquired the interesting habit of posting sen-
tinels when feeding, which is described in detail by John J. Williams.
Mr. Williams observed a flock enter a field and begin to feed, while a
sentinel took his station in a peach tree and scanned the country
round about for danger. Presently he was relieved by a second bird,
who took up a position on a brush pile and a little later was relieved
by a third, who kept guard while the other two fed with the flock.a
Writing in 1891 Clark P. Streator says that about 100,000 are sold
each year in the San Francisco market. It is not a perfect game bird,
for it does not lie well to a dog, and when once flushed has a habit of
running that is exasperating to the sportsman. The best way to hunt
these quail is to keep the dog at heel and to run down the birds. This
is likely to make them take wing and to break up the covey. The
same result may be accomplished also by discharging the gun in the
air. When a covey has been scattered in suitable cover they will lie
well enough to a trained dog to give the hunter considerable sport,
though it is poor in comparison with that afforded by the bobwhite.
The beauty of this quail, its pleasant call notes, and its confidence in
man make it a favorite, except where it damages the grape crop. In
fall and winter where it is abundant hundreds of birds unite in great
packs. Bendire, writing in 1892, says that within a decade packs of
500 were often found, but that at that time coveys even of 50 were
rare in most places.b In the fall of 1891 they were still very abun-
dant on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, where E. W. Nelson,
of the Biological Survey, records their slaughter by pot hunters.
The hunters stationed themselves behind a brush blind near the one
spring where the birds came to drink. Thousands of them flocked
Condor, vol. 5, pp. 146-148, 1903.
b Life Hist. N. Am. Birds [I], p. 24, 1892.

in. A a week or mis Dutcnery ,'tiu quails were Kiouea. A
S525 birds to four guns in a day in February, 1903, near San
HH.Cal., shows that birds are still abundant there, though far less
iM..elop. :in most places than formerly.a
T h- ,California quail, though not a large consumer of insects, is a
uwt bird, since weed seeds constitute more than half of its food.
ilsome regions these birds suffer from the curtailment of their food
nip:ply by droughts, and in the northern part of their range many
|ukdilfled by severe winters. Bendire states that during the exces-
y cold winter of 1887-88, when the mercury dropped to 28
lilw. zero in the northeastern corner of California, these quail per-
.ile in great numbers."
|Th California quail might be introduced successfully in many sec-
F: between California and Texas where it does not occur at present.
-1. already has been introduced into Colorado, where it will be pro-
tcted by law at all seasons until 1920. Laws to prevent trapping
aid to limit the day's bag, together with absolute protection in sec-
lions where necessary, should suffice to preserve this beautiful species.
The general food habits of this quail have been ascertained by the
examination of 601 stomachs, and it proves to be one of the most
largely vegetarian of game birds. The material for investigation
was collected in California, and represents every month of the year
except May. Insects furnished but 2.15 per cent of the food, and
leaves, seeds, and fruit 97.85 per cent.


The 2.15 per cent of animal food eaten by this quail is distributed
:as follows: Spiders, 0.03 per cent; beetles, 0.22 per cent; grasshoppers
and crickets, 0.24 per cent; ants and other Hymenoptera, 0.67 per
cent; miscellaneous insects, 0.99 per cent. The beetles are both adults
and larvae, and belong to the following families: Chry8omnelida (leaf-
eating beetles), Tenebrionidw. (darkling beetles), Elaterida' (wire-
worms), Carabid(e (ground beetles), Dermestida. (dermestids), Coc-
ienellidce ladybirdss), and snout beetles (suborder Rhynchophora).
The leaf-eating beetles include Diabrotica soror, a western representa-
tive of the destructive twelve-spotted cucumber beetle. Flea beetles
also are eaten, including species of the genus Jialtica. Among the
1. Recreation, vol. 18, p. 368, 1893.
SLife Hist. N. Am. Birds [I], p. 26, 1892.

miscellaneous leaf-eating beetles may be mentioned the brilliant Gas-
troidea ecesia. Conspicuous among the ground beetles eaten is the
common Agonoderus pallipes, and among the useful predaceous lady-
birds the species Hippodamia con cergens.. Like the eastern bobwhite,
the California quail feeds on ants of the families Formicidce and
Myrmicida,. Sometimes 20 to 35 ants are taken at a meal. Of the
other Hymenoptera, gall insects (Cynipidi.) and their galls make a
significant proportion. Caterpillars and their pupae are eaten. Cut-
worms (Agrotis), measuring worms (Geometrida1), sphinx caterpil-
lars (including Deilephila), and the cotton bollworm (Heliothis
obsoleta) make up the greater part of this food. Like the bobwhite
again, this bird shows a relish for bugs. It eats leaf bugs (Capsidwc),
bugs of the chinch bug family, such as LygwEus truculentis and L.
bitriangularis, and stink bugs (Pentatomidce), assassin bugs (Redu-
viidce), flat bugs (Aradidea), burrower bugs (Crytomenus), leaf hop-
pers (Jassida), tree hoppers (Membracidae), plant lice, and bugs of
the genus Scolops (Fudgoride). The miscellaneous animal matter
taken includes flies (Lucillia cesar), spiders, and snails.

The vegetable food of this quail amounts to 97.85 per cent of its
diet. The bird has an unsavory reputation among fruit growers,
especially the owners of vineyards. Relative to this subject, Miss
Florence A. Merriam, writing from San Diego County, Cal., says:
In fact, the quail were so abundant as to be a pest. For several years great
flocks of them came down the canyons to Major Merriam's vineyard, where they
destroyed annually from twenty to thirty tons of fruit. In one season-July to
October, 1881-one hundred and thirty dozen [1,560] were trapped on his ranch.
The result of this wholesale destruction was manifest when I returned to the
valley in 1894. The birds were then rarely seen on the roads and seldom flushed
in riding about the valley.a
When this species becomes superabundant and plays havoc with
crops it is well to remember that it can be so easily checked. W. H.
Osgood, of the Biological Survey, has furnished the writer data on
the frugivorous habits of the quail in central California. In one
vineyard he saw a flock of about a thousand eating zinfandel grapes.
The birds do much damage in September, when the young are molt-
ing and they have collected in packs, as before described.
Walter E. Bryant, writing of the damage to fruit, offers testimony
on the other side:
In some parts of California there is a strong prejudice against the quail,
owing to alleged( damage to the grape. The evidence which I have thus far
gathered shows that the quail do pick at the bunches of grapes, and not alone
a Auk, XIII, p. 116, 1896.

oftm.hat a few grapes, seeds, and poison-oak berries.a
Si t 601 stomachs of the valley quail examined by the Biological
ay: grapes formed only 0.01 per cent of the annual food. This
.., entity is due, no doubt, to the fact that many of the birds
:shot in regions remote from vineyards and many of them during
Vi* when grapes were not in fruit. The total proportion of all
M: o f fruit was only 7.60 per cent, an amount so insignificant as to
uade. the idea of serious damage. Where the birds are over-
*idmnt and the consequent damage great, trapping or advertising
.!. -onditions in sporting papers will probably result in reducing the
6ibiieirs to normal. Of the 7.60 per cent of fruit, grapes, as before
*isiiited, contribute 0.01 per cent; plants of the genus Rhus, mainly
i*us diver8iloba, 4.74 per cent, and miscellaneous fruit, prunes, and
imci; nium, 2.85 per cent. The maximum quantity of fruit, amount-
1. 1g .to 82.40 per cent for the month, was taken in December, after the
Sgr::a:!gpes had been picked.
p"|.. i,:.

SThe relations of the California quail to grain are of considerable
economic importance. W. T. Craig, of San Francisco, writes to the
PDepartment of Agriculture: I have observed the quail enter a field
of wheat to the number of thousands, and had they not been driven
away they would have destroyed the whole crop." No other reports
to the Biological Survey show the danger to grain from this quail to
be so serious, but data at hand show that it does more or less damage
Sto germinating grain. Two quail shot by Walter E. Bryant on a
newly-sown grain field had eaten, respectively, 185 kernels and 210
kernels of barley." Barley is important in California, where it is
Sgro+wn for hay, for grain feed, and for beer making. There is, how-
ever, much volunteer barley, which many species of birds feed on
and thus do good rather than harm. It is probable that quail do
little or no harm to barley at harvest time, and the waste grain that
they subsequently gather in stubble fields has no positive value. Of
i h:e yearly food of the 601 quail examined 6.18 per cent was grain,
Idivi+ded as follows: Barley, 4.58 per cent; wheat, 0.44 per cent;
cf omern and oats, 1.16 per cent.
|a Zoe, IV, p. 56, 1893. 5 Zoe, IV. p. 55, 1893.


In its habit of feeding on foliage the California quail differs from
the bobwhite and resembles the ruffed grouse. Such food forms 22.73
per cent of the vegetable matter eaten. In February, when the bob-
white is weathering blizzards, the California quail is enjoying balmy
weather and feeding on browse to the extent of 80 per cent of its food.
Most of this browse consists of leaves of leguminous plants, princi-
pally clovers. Bur clover (Medicago denticulata), a weed that
grows in cultivated land and along irrigation ditches, appears to sup-
ply most of the forage. Alfalfa and clovers of the genus alfalfa
form most of the remaining leguminous green food. Next to legumes
the finely divided leaves of alfilaria, or 'filaree' (Erodium), are im-
portant. Grass, chickweed (Alsine media), the leaves of fern,
geranium, oxalis, and groundsel-bush (Baccharis) also furnish forage
for the quail. W. W. Cooke reports that near Grand Junction,
Colo., where the California coast quail has been introduced and
thrives wonderfully, market gardeners regard it as a nuisance.a

Different seeds, largely of weeds, furnish the California quail 59.77
per cent of its year's diet. Legumes contribute 17.87 per cent; alfi-
laria, 13.38 per cent; composite, 5.55 per cent; the spurge family
(Euphorbiacea?), 5.85 per cent, and miscellaneous plants 17.12 per
cent. Leguminous seeds are liked best by the bird, and make up
17.87 per cent of the seed diet for the year and 46.1 per cent of its
food for June. Bur clover yields abundance of seeds as well as
forage. Its seed pod is peculiar, inuch" elongated, beset with long,
sharp spines, and spirally coiled into a roundish bur. The quail
swallows it whole, regardless of spines. This food is highly nutri-
tious and is relished by stock as well as by birds and wild mammals.
Seeds of closely allied plants, such as alfalfa, vetch, cassias, culti-
vated beans and peas, and clovers of the genera Trifolium, Lespedeza,
and Melilotus also are in the quail's list, as well as of locust (Robinia)
and lupines, the latter taken in large quantities. They include the
seeds of Lupinus nanus, L. micrant/uts, and L. sparsiflorus. Other
leguminous seeds are eaten in great numbers, including a small bean-
like seed, Lotus glaber, which looks much like a miniature Frankfurt
sausage, and an unidentified, almost microscopic square seed, with a
notch in its edge, possibly some species of birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus).
Nearly all of the leguminous plants that. furnish the quail with seeds
belong in the category of weeds.
Seeds of weeds from other families of plants make up no less than
a Birds of Colorado, App. 2, p. 202. 1900,

.:s quail shot by F. E. L. Beal at Hay-
8iqd, Cal., August 15, 1903. The seeds -
1dthie bur thistle (Centaurea melitensis) W
t r smaller and have a hook at one end
Sa set of spines like a paint brush at A "
tM "Other. They are, perhaps, most liked FiG. 4.-Seed of mayweed (Anthe-
3' m coiposite seeds. From 500 to 800 miB cotula). (From Bull. 38, Ne-
vada Agricultural Experiment
Soften eaten at a meal. The destruc- station.)
ft.Q of this seed is highly beneficial,
i for the bur thistle is troublesome to farmers.
\Wild carrot (Daucus carota), tar weed (Madia
y sativa), wild lettuce (Lactuca sp.), mayweed
A (Anthemis cotula), and marsh elder (Iva xanthi-
i ^ 1folia) furnish most of the remaining seeds of
composite plants. Tar weed is a favorite source of
food, and one stomach, collected at Watsonville,
S Cal., by J. S. Hunter, contained 700 of these seeds.
,,+. Another stomach, from the same place, held 2,000
A tiny seeds of dog fennel, or mayweed. (Fig. 4.)
sM. L-5eed of am- From seeds of plants belonging to the spurge
hul~a (ErwiUM Stario,). (From family (Euphorbiacew) come 5.85 per cent of the
Bus f8, Nevada annual food. Spurges, particularly Croton setige-
Agricultural E x-
periment Station.) rus, commonly known as turkey mullein, are a staple
with the California quail as with most other seed-
eating birds. So fond are the quail of turkey
mullein that their crops are often completely e tl
distended with the seeds, sometimes from 500 '
to 900 to a bird. Turkey mullein is a prostrate *
plant covered with a- whitish, woolly pubes- *
cence, and often used by the Indians to poison A ,
fish. Seeds of alfilaria (Erodium cicutarium Fro. 6.-Seed of black mus.
tard ( R~aaica uigra)
and other species), which is both a weed and a Frdom Bru. 88 neiga
+forage plant, are eagerly sought. They are Agricultural Experiment
ilance-shaped, furnished with a long, elaborate, Station.)
corkscrew awn ending in a. thin spine. They burrow into sheep's
wool and even pierce the skin. The alfilaria is one of the few seeds
of the West that all seed-eating birds consume. The plant is very


abundant in California, and the quail often eats from 1,000 to 1,600
of the little corkscrew seeds at a meal. It affords 13.38 per cent of
the year's food, and 26.70 per cent of the June diet. (Fig. 5.)
Seeds of miscellaneous weeds comprise 17.11 per cent of the annual
*food. Among the species included are pigweed (Chenopodium al-

0 : 0
* as

Fiu. 7.--Seed of chickweed (A.lsiamne ie-dia). (From Bull. 47, Nevada Agricultural Ex.
periment Station.)

bum), rough pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexuis), and black mustard
(Brass'Mca nigra) (fig. 6)-especially obnoxious in grain fields-and
the closely related weed, wild radish (Raphanus sati8us). Seeds of
shepherd's purse (Bursa bursa-pastoris) and of other cruciferous


FI. 8.-Seed of Geranium di um.
FIG. 8.-ISeed of Geranium disscrctun.

(Prom Bull. 47, Nevada

e F

Agricultural Experiment

plants are included in common N
tiNm sp. and Alsine media)
are so much relished that often
closely related plants, miner's

"ith silene and the chickweeds (Ceras-
(fig. 7). Geranium seeds (fig. 8)
300 or 400 are eaten at a time. T o
lettuce (Montia perfoliata) and red


* *I


Fir.. 9.-Seed of sorrel (Jtumf' in cctosclla). (From Bull. 47, Nevada Agricultural Ex-
periment Station.)

maids (Calandrinia menziesii), bear minute slhiny black seeds that
often arc eaten by the thousand. The little seeds of red sorrel (Ruw
mex acctosella) (fig. 9) and curled (lock (Rumex crispus) are occa-
sionally taken in almost as large numbers. Seeds of chess (Bromus


.B quoting Spreadborough, states that in British Columbia,
...... it winters successfully, the quail finds shelter in severe weather
under the broom (Cytisus scoparius), which in places grows abun-
dantly and yields seed for subsistence.a
.The quail feeds also at times on mast. A. K. Fisher, in the western
..oo..lls of the Sierra Nevada, the last of July found both young
d adult quail eating young acorns." Small quantities of sedge
A 6&(Carew and Seirpuis) and of dodder (Cuscuta) are eaten, the
otter plant being a destructive parasite on legumninous forage crops.
7h miscellaneous seed list includes also stick seeds (Lappula sp.),
ttercup (Ranunculus sp.), bind weed (Conolb ,lts sp.), Am-
||ldtie sp., Anagalis arvensis, plaintain (Plantago major), ribgrass
V(Plantago lanceolata), painted cup (Castilleja sp.), mountain lilac


Fle. 10.-Seed of chess (Bromus secalinus). (From Bull. 47, Nevada Agricultural Ex-
periment Station.)
(Geanothus sp.), and black wattle (Callicoma serratifolia). In the
mountains of Lower California the food supply determines the breed-
ing time of birds. If there is not enough rain for a good supply of
seeds the coveys of quail do not break up into nesting pairs but remain
in coveys throughout the summer. If the season is wet and the winter
rains promise abundant food the birds mate in March and begin nest-
ing immediately.'
.The food of young birds differs from that of the parents, as has
already been remarked of the bobwhite, but the difference is .less
marked with the California quail. Stomachs of 32 young of the
westernn birds, from one-fourth to one-half grown, have been exam-
.ined. They were collected from the middle of July to the middle of
,September. The food was composed of 3.4 per cent animal matter
<* Cat. Can. Birds, Part I, p. 198, 1900.
S. N. A. Fauna, No. 7, p. 28, 1893.
cLite Hist. N. A. Birds [I], p. 27, 1892.

:.. ... L.H. :... 7 # .... .
r36 1" .oiaMw:*A
Ii .!i:... ..... ."7 M ".... ....... ..... ".. ...:
.~~~~. . .: : ..: .. .::: ...: ::... .: .. ... ... .. .. ...: i
..ii i .ea lT ii t ... .. ..... .: .... ... ,
and 96.6 per cent vegetable matter. Thirty-nine adult birds .dS"...
: ~ the same period had eaten almost entirely vegetable food, since o"af
;: 0.6 per cent of animal food appeared in analysis. Had the young
birds been collected when newly hatched, undoubtedly a larger pro-:
:portion of insect food would have been found. The 3.4 per cent of
insect food mentioned consisted of beetles, 0.1 per cent; bugs, 0.2 per
cent; grasshoppers, 1.3 per cent, and ants, 1.8 per cent.
The vegetable food of the young is much like that of the adult;
In this case it. consisted of leguminous seeds, 18.1 per cent; alfilaria
seeds, 18.5 per cent; miscellaneous seeds, 54.4 per cent; browse, 6.6
per cent; grain, 0.6 per cent, and miscellaneous vegetable matter, 0.4
per cent.

(Lophortyx gambeli.)

The Gambel quail in general appearance is much like the valley
quail, but, among other differences, lacks the scalelike feathers of the
lower parts and has considerable chestnut along the flanks. It lives in
the Lower Sonoran zone, from western Texas to southeastern Cali-
fornia and from southern'Utah and Nevada south through central
Sonora, Mexico. The desert is its home, but it is rarely found ftr
from water. Its favorite haunts are patches of bushy vegetation, such:
as mesquite, mimosa, creosote, and patches of prickly pear. It fre-
quently takes up its abode about cultivated land, living in alfalfa:|
fields or nesting in vineyards.
An interesting account of the habits of the Gambel quail in the1
Pahrump Valley, Nevada, is given by E. W. Nelson:
I noticed that when a flock of quail came to feed on grain left by the horses
an old male usually mounted the top of a tall bush close by and remained on
guard for ten or fifteen minutes; then, if everything was quiet, he would fly
down amniong his companions. At the first alarm the flock would take to the
hushes, running swiftly, or flying when hard pressed. They roosted in the
dense hunches of willows and cottonwoods growing along the ditches. * *
When feeding they have a series of low clucking and cooing notes which are
kept up ahnost c.bntinually.a
The love note, according to Coues, may be represented in words as
killingk, killing.' Nesting takes place in April, sometimes not till:
May. About a dozen eggs usually constitute a clutch. In sections|
where this quail is still numerous the birds pack in bands of from 1003
to 500 after the breeding season.
From the sportsman's point of view the Gambel quail as a game
bird does not approach the bobwhite. It will sometimes lie to a dog

a N. A. Fauna, No. 7, pp. 29, 30, 1893.

W .1
. ...wQ* :al ji

.IIcIogica Survey, U S. Dept. of Agriculture
i:,fiotogical Survey. U S. Dept. of Aigriculture




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t* ,th eaii ftehne. tihwvr
1hc rgtn h eetwih't rsneadcn
wecm diint h ae ftetaee.W iels
thntebbht sadsrye fnxosiscsada
ofsot hs idwl eere rtcinfrisfo
it beuy.I hie ne eetcniin n igh
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toJnhv eneaie. ny04 e eto h

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Like. thevaleyquilths i oe o or las inecivoou
It iniect die incudeiitsbeelegashopersilafiop
(N m rcd ) an ........... bus(enao id Am n h
ar h etr wlesotd-uubrbel Dartc
an .tnll.Teyun2hcs hwvr il obls
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Pha shos,6....,.et.Fo.tepesn.ivsigto
ap e r less.......................... .h r A m rica

five minutes' walk often saw a hundred birds. The same observers.
when in Mohave County, Ariz., fund that the bird fed principally"
on juicy plants when it could not procure water. At times it eats
grass and its inflorescence, and it has been known to devour showy
flowers. In spring it shows a fondness for buds. Baird, Brewer,
and Ridgway note that. then it feeds largely on the willow buds,
which impart to its flesh a distinctly bitter taste.a
The seed-eating habits of Gambel quail closely resemble those of
the valley quail. Leguminous plants furnish the largest part of the
seed food-21.17 per cent of the annual diet-alfalfa, bur clover, and
kindred plants appearing to be preferred, but cassias, acacias, and
lupines also are taken, as well as the beans of the mesquite, which in
many places are a staple with birds and mammals. The seeds of
alfilaria (Erodium cicutarium), another bird staple, furnish 2.28 i
per cent of the year's food. Miscellaneous seeds form 8.44 per cent. 0
They are obtained from grasses, mallows (Malra), and such crucif- A
erous plants as mustard (Brassica) and peppergrass (Lepidium) ;
also from chickweed (Cerastivtm) and Atriplex.

(Oreortyx pictus.b)
The mountain quail occurs in the forested mountains of the humid
Transition Zone of the Pacific coast, from Santa Barbara, Cal., to
Washington, and in the mountains of the more arid Transition Zone 1
on the w-vest side of the Cascades in northern Oregeon and south over
the Sierra Nevada to northern Lower California. The birds of the
Sierra Nevada winter at lower altitudes than they nest, but those of
the coast mountains do not make this vertical migration. This
species is the largest and amniong the handsomest of American quail, i
with two long jet-black crest p1u1nes and rich chestnut throat and
flanks, the latter broadly banded transversely with spotless white.
The nests of the mountain quail are placed on the ground and usu-
ally contain 10 to 12 eggs, which vary from pale-cream color to a
muich (hlirker (due. At Tillamook, Oreg., June 30 and July 4, 1897,
A. K. Fisher found newly hatched chicks; and at Donner, Cal., July
11 and 19), at an altitude ranging from 6,100 to 8,000 feet, Vernon
Bailey found nine broods, varying in age from newly hatched chicks
to half-grown birds. Bendire, quoting L. W. Green, of the United
States Fish Commission, says that the earliest date of the nesting of
a llst. N. Am. Birds, III, p. 485, 1874.
n Tie name is used here to cover both the typical dark birds of the humid coast i
forests (Or( 'try.r pict ts) and the paler one (0. p. plnumiferus) of the more arid
Transition Zone in the Sierras and Cascades.

.ipr t razres care or tne young., &nester narow, in writing ot
i Nts of the mountain quail, says that at Fyffe, Cal., it begins
hi the last of May or early in June. All nests that he found
built in a growth of' mountain misery' (Chammbatia sp.) 8 to
in|diees high.? On Mount Tallac and the higher slopes of Pyra-
7ak, W. W. Price found newly hatched young as late as August
HJeS noted that by September 1 the quail became restless and soon
a. their peculiar migration from the east slope to the west slope
SSierras. From 4 to 6 adults with their young form a small
of from 10 to 30 individuals, and pursue their way almost
fly on foot to a more congenial winter climate; and by October
a|!1 had abandoned elevations above 5,000 feet. In spring they
te back singly or in pairs.O
i: here are many admirers of this bird because of its exquisite
tmage, but most sportsmen prefer a game bird that lies better to
e dog. Its flesh is excellent, and the bird sells well in the market.
W. Henshaw reports that in the late fall of 1880 he found the
markets of Portland, Oreg., well supplied with live mountain quails
.cich had been trapped in the neighboring mountains, cooped, and
t to the city for sale. Nowhere is it so numerous as the California
qail, or the bobwhite in the Southern States, and it is more of a
orbst-loving species than any other American quail. The mountain
quail sometimes enters cleared fields, but so far as the records of the
Biological Survey show it does no appreciable damage to cultivated
fruits or other crops and it is a useful destroyer of weed seeds.


No stomachs of the mountain quail of the humid regions were
"available for examination, but Sandys writes that the bird feeds on
* and various seeds, including grain,4 and Elliot says it some-
es approaches farm buildings in search of scattered kernels of
The food of the mountain quail of the arid regions has been
died in the laboratory of the Biological Survey. The stomachs
amined, 23 in number, were collected in California. Five were
elected in January, 2 in May, 6 in June, 3 in July, 3 in August, and
a Life Hist N. Am. Birds [I], p. 16, 1892.
b Condor, 3, p. 158, 1901.
c Condor, 3, pp. 158, 160, 1901.
d Upland Game Birds, p. 93, 1902.
Gallinaceous Game Birds N. A.,. p. 42, 1897.

( in November. The food consisted of animal matter, 3 per cent, and !
vegetable matter, 97 per cent. The animal food was made up of
grasshoppers, 0.05 per cent; beetles, 0.23 per cent; miscellaneous
insects, including ants and lepidopterous pupae, 1.90 per cent; and
centipedes and harvest spiders (Phalangidce), 0.82 per cent. Among
the beetles was a species of the firefly family (Lampyridce), a ground
beetle (Carabidew), and a leaf beetle (Haltira sp.). Vernon Bailey
informs the writer that the young eat many ants. The vegetable
food consisted of grain, 18.20 per cent; seeds, practically all of weeds
or other worthless plants, 46.61 per cent; fruit, 8.11 per cent; and
miscellaneous vegetable matter, 24.08 per cent. The grain included
wheat, corn, barley, and oats. Of the seed element the seeds. of
grasses formed 7.78 per cent; of legumes, 10.41 per cent; of weeds of
the family Euphorbiacece, 3.16 'per cent; of alfilaria (Erodium
cicutariurm), 2.76 per cent; and of miscellaneous weeds, 22.50 per
cent. The legume seeds include seeds of alfalfa, cassia, bush clover, ,
vetch, and lupine. The miscellaneous seeds come from wild carrot
(Daucus carota), tar weed (Madia sativa), Collomia sp., Am.sinckia
sp., labiate plants, dwarf oak, snowbush (Ceanothus cordulatus), and
Concerning the feeding habits of mountain quail of the dry coun-
try (0. p. plumniferus), J. E. McClellan says: Their feeding hours
are early in the morning and just before sundown in the evening,
when they go to roost in the thick tops of the scrub live oaks. Their
feeding habits are similar to those of the domestic hen. They are
vigorous scratchers, and will jump a foot or more from the ground to
nip off leaves." This bird is especially fond of the leaves of clover i
and other leguminous plants. It feeds also on flowers, being known
to select those of Compositce and blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium). )
Flowers, leaves, buds, and other kinds of vegetable matter form the
24.08 per cent marked miscellaneous. The birds probably eat more
fruit than- these stomach examinations indicate. Lyman Belding
says that this quail feeds on service berries, and that during certain
seasons it lives almost entirely on grass bulbs (Melira bulbosa), which
it gets by scratching, for which its large, powerful feet are well
adapted. The fruit in its bill of fare includes gooseberries, service
berries (A.melanchier alnifolia), and grapes (Vitis californica).
The bird is probably fond also of manzanita berries, for it is often
seen among these shrubs.
a MS. Records, Biological Survey.

[ 4&.Of the lower Rio Grande region are darker than those far-
[ .WL According to Bendire, this quail lives on open arid plains
R ju with yucca, cactus, and sagebrush, and often gathers in
niyt;Umbering 25 to 80. It lays about a dozen eggs, and he be-
the8 at two or three broods are reared in a season. The cock assists
chaMre of the young, but not in incubation.'

N: food habits of this game bird are of especial interest. Stom-
"and crops of 47 specimens have been examined, most of which
.. from New Mexico, the others from Arizona and Texas. They
collectedd as follows: January, 7; May, 1; June, 2; July, 3;
I.pteiber, 13; October, 19, and November, 2. As with all other
!.i.iafus birds, more or less mineral matter is swallowed, usually
iJ 'pieces of quartz. The food consisted of animal matter, 29.6
r bet, and vegetable matter, 70.4 per cent.
t Hie bood of the cotton top differs from that of all other American in that it contains a large proportion of insects. These com-
tiesno less than 29.03 per cent of its food, a percentage almost twice
s great as that of the bobwhite, although if more stomachs of the
tesnt species had been available for examination the ratio might
ire been different. However, the important fact is established that
j bird is a large consumer of insects, instead of being, like most
Western quail, practically graminivorous. Of the insect food,
kuhoppers comprise 15.86 per cent; beetles, 10.43 per cent, and mis-
Sneous insects, largely ants, 3.27 per cent. A few spiders also are
bi"", but they constitute only 0.03 per cent of the food for the year.
U: beetles are in the larval as well as the adult forms. The family
around beetles (Carabide), a favorite one with terrestrial birds, is
ell represented. A single beetle with a featherlike antenna, of the
ily Pyrochroida,'had been eaten. Some longicorn beetles and
oat-eating scarabeid beetles also were eaten. A bird collected in
* of the species Is used here to include both the typical scaled quail
61t11/pla squamata) and the more restricted chestnut-bellied quail of south-
exas~ (. s. castanogastris).
..:fe.. "1st N. A. Birds ([1], pp. 18-20, 1892.

June had consumed 44 of the.latter beetles, which were leaf chafers,j
apparently closely related to the genus Serica. The scaled quail .
destroys also weevils, such as the clover'weevil, Sitones, and certain
species of the family Otiorhynchidoe, or scarred snout beetles. It
takes also leaf beetles, the very injurious twelve-spotted cucumber
beetle (Diubrotica 12-pun ctata). Further studies of the beetle food
undoubtedly will disclose a large number of pests. The bird will
probably be found to be a useful consumer also of grasshoppers,
since a third of its September food consisted of them. Their remains
were so fragmentary, however, that identification of species was un-
satisfactory. In one case a member of the genus Trimerotropis was
recognized. Ants had been eaten by 15 of the 47 birds examined.
The other miscellaneous insects included small bugs (Heteroptera)
and the chrysalis of a fly. One of the queerest objects found by the
writer in birds' stomachs is the 'ground pearl' (Margarbdes), sev-
eral hundred of which were contained in the stomach of a cotton top
shot at Roswell, N. Mex., June 17, 1899. They are lustrous and look
like pearls, but are merely scale insects that feed on the roots of
Vegetable matter furnished 70 per cent of the food of the scaled
quail. Grain contributed 0.57 per cent; seeds, mostly weed" seeds,
52.85 per cent; fruit, 12.65 per cent, and leaves and other green tissue,
-1.33 per cent. The species resembles the ruffed grouse in its habit of
feeding on green leaves and tender shoots. It feeds upon budded
twigs, bIut more often limits its choice to chlorophyll-bearing tissue,
often picking green seed pods of various plants. Like domestic
fowls, it eats grass blades. Fruit was eaten by only 6 of the 47 birds,
and none was taken from cultivated varieties. As might be expected
from inhabitants of arid plains, these birds like the fruit of cacti,
and have been found feeding on the prickly pear (Opuntia lind-
h/inmeri). The fruit of lberillea lindhleimeri also is eaten. The
blue berries of Adelia angustifolia, which furnish many desert birds
and mammals with food, are often eaten by the scaled quail. Differ-
(enit kinds of Ribux fruits are relished, and the berries of Koeberlinia
spino.a and Momnisia pallida also are eaten. The fruit and succulent
parts of plants no doubt serve in part in the parched desert as a sub-
stitute for water.
Seeds of various plants form a little more than half of the food.
Legumes furnish 21.84 per cent, the mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), a
stal)le with both man and beast, being utilized, as are the seeds of
iiiimosa (,I. biincifera), besides various cassias and lupines. Seeds
of vetch (T'ria sp).) are a favorite food, and Morongia roemeriana is
eaten. The bird likes seeds of Medicago, and at times will eat clover
see(Ids. Miscellaneous weed seeds yield 31.01 per cent of the annual
food. Nearly half of these are seeds of bindweed (Convolvulus sp.),

null. (Lithospermum sp.).
.|ln.sleeds have not yet been found in quantity in the crop of the
440*ybut panicum seeds have been recognized.
iAfm aumming up the economic status of the scaled quail it should be
e......d that although the bird is a desert species, it comes into more or
~ direct relation with agriculture, sometimes feeding upon culti-
Nied land and about farm buildings. Moreover, half of its food
WSiuts of the seeds of weeds. Lastly, it is highly insectivorous,
illy one-fourth of its food consisting of insects.

*.:..* flEABNS QUAIL.
:. (Oyrtonyc montezumw mearns.)
: The pervading colors of the male Mearns quail are black, white,
sad chestnut. Its thick speckles of white and its peculiar shape sug-
gest a miniature guinea hen. The species is found on the table-lands
of'Mexico from the City of Mexico north to western Texas, New Mex-
iw. and Arizona, but the bird considered here is limited to the
northern part of this range.
It is a.. confiding bird and either from excess of curiosity or from
stupidity has been known to remain on the ground to be killed by
at stick. From this lack of suspicion it has received the name fool
quail.' It affords the sportsman with a dog much better shooting
than its more erratic crested relatives. Grassy or bushy cover is more
necessary to this bird than to the scaled quail or Gambel quail.
Unlike the latter species, it does not pack, though it is more or less mi-
gratory. Its nesting habits are not well known. Bendire describes a
nest found in Kinney County, Tex., June 22, 1890. It was placed in
a depression of the ground, and contained 10 eggs.
:*": .. "
The food habits of the Mearns quail are not well known. The
biological Survey has examined the contents of 9 crops and stonim-
*: The typical Massena quail (Oyrtony.x montezuma) is a bird of the moun-
Was about the Mexican table-land, and gives way to the paler Mearns quail
0. mearnsi) in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.
HH4! ,

Two of the birds were killed in a patch of cactus. They contained
seeds and spines from the prickly pear, acacia, and other seeds, grass
blades, and a trace of insects-weevils and other beetles-besides a
large quantity of coarse sand and iron ore. The other 7 birds were
shot in August. Two had their crops filled with the bulbs of a lily.
The others also had eaten lily bulbs, which in the 5 birds made three-
fourths of the food. The other food was prickly pear fruit, seeds of
legumes and spurges, and such insects as weevils, smooth caterpillars,.
hairy caterpillars, bugs, crickets, and grasshoppers. Cassin states
that the contents of the crop of a specimen sent him from Texas by
Captain French "consisted exclusively of fragments of insects, pro-
nounced by Doctor Leconte to be principally grasshoppers and a
specimen of Spectrum." a According to Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway,
the Mearns quail appeared quite at home in cultivated fields and
stubble of the ranches.b Away from civilization it prefers districts
covered with open forest, with alternate areas of grass and scattered
bushy undergrowth, or hillsides covered with grass and bushes. Its-
habits vary considerably wiflth the locality. Bendire records that the
species lives in rocky ravines and arroyos, but quickly adapts itself
to ranch conditions and may be seen running about to gather kernels
of scattered grain. He says also that it is fond of acorns, mountain
laurel, arbutus, cedar, and other berries, and notes that its large,
strong feet are well suited to unearthing the bulbs on which it feeds.
He found holes 2 inches deep which it had dug for this purpose.
These quail often come out into mountain roads to search for scattered
grain and to dust themselves. As they are readily tamed, they could
doubtless be successfully introduced into other regions.
a Illustration of Birds of California. Texas, etc., p). 25. 1856.
b Hist. N. Amn. Birds, III, p. 492, 1874. ,

eii4eModJct of sport ------------------ ---- 16
S'HThabits ------------------ ------ --- 11
..... ....10

^^pBH~p~'jjj m f~------------------------------------------------------ is1
ilu regarding --------------------------- 19
atton and propagation---------------------- 20-2
M.: .... a bib t s - - -- - ----- - - --- --- ------ - ------ -- 1-1
habito --- 11-12
Hiood of bobwhite -------------------------- 37
4ijt.. a by bobwhite------------------------------------------ 42
mi~lda" ail-- ----------- 7--------------------.--- 4-
----- 49
Saffmis mountain quail ------------------------------------ 8
Iir.* valley .quail ------------------------------------- 8
I .a suamata------------------------------------------------- 61-63
I". a ...l eaten by bobwhite------------------------------------- 44
IR R-- -- -- 46
S ra idgwayl------- ------------------------------------ 46
virin-ianus ,----------------------------------------------- 9
jrtuyx montezumae mearnal ------- ------------------------ 63
ree of bobwhite----------------------- ------------------18-19
od mhabits of California quail------------------------------ 4
Gambel quail----------------------------------- 57
Mearns quail -------------------------------------- 6:
:.. mountain quail ---------------------------------59,60
Scaled quail------------------------------------ 61-63
d of young bobwhite -- ------------------------ 45
California quail-- -------- --- ------55
quail --------------------------------------------------- 8
tt as food of bobwhite-------------------------------------- 35-37
eaten by California quail--------------------------------- 50
Pb l quail----------------- -----------------------------8, 56-58
food habits------------------------- 57,58
lan eaten by California quail ------------------------------------51
as food of bobwhite--- -------------------------28-31
ppes eaten by bobwhite------- -------------------43,44
beetles eaten by bobwhite.------------------------------ 38,41
food of California quail ------------------------------------- 49
as fooe of bobwhite--------------------------------------- 37
e beetles eaten by bobwhite-------------------- --------- 39,41
"safood of bobwhite----- 37
eaten by California quail -------------------------------- 52
satlouln behalf of bobwhite-------------------------------- 19-20

vaicom ----------------- --- 47--i
gambeli ------------------- --- 56-5
Masked bobwhite ------------------ ------------- -- 4
Mast as food of bobwhite ---- ---------------------- 3s
Mearns quail- 8,63
food habits-------------------------------- --- 68
Miscellaneous animal food of bobwhite ----------------- 4
Mountain quail -------------------------------------- ------ 58-ti
food habits ---.. -------------------------------------------- 58-M
Oreortyx pictus'--------------------------------------------------- 58-410
plifniiferus --------------------------------------- 58-60
Pine seeds, food of bobwhite ------------------------------------- 3
Scaled quail ----------------------------------------------------61--3
food habits -------------------------------------------------61-60
Vegetable food of California quail--------------------------------- 50
Weed seeds as food of bobwhite----------------------------------- 31--3
eaten by California quail------------------------------ 52
Weevils eaten by bobwhite---------------------------------------- 40,41




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