Bobwhite Foods In Six Oklahoma Habitats

This study in 1972-73 in northweste"n Oklahoma, using soil-vegetation cores and sweep-net samples, assessed the seasonal biomass of invertebrates and "principal" seeds that are potential foods of bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) in 2 natural (stabilized dunes, upland woods) and 4 man-altered habitats (old disked areas, recently disked areas, mature food plots, and thinned bottomland forest). Mature food plots had greater (P< 0.05) amounts of seeds during summer and fall than other habitats. Food productivity remains high the second year after a food plot is planted and perhaps longer. Stabilized dunes and old disked areas contained the most foods during winter. Stabilized dunes are preferred winter habitat and require little or no management. When not disturbed annually, disked fire lanes were rich in quail food and did not require the planting costs of food plots. A logical way to save fuel and other expenses would be to convert some food plots to disked areas and to plant the remaining food plots on alternate years or, perhaps, every 3rd year.

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