Abundance and Selection of Invertebrates by Northern Bobwhite Chicks

Invertebrate density and biomass, northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) chick invertebrate selection, and vegetation stem density and biomass were studied in old field (OF), fertilized old field (FOF), and fertilized kobe lespedeza (FKL) (Lespedeza striata var. kobei) plots, in the summers of 1985 and 1986. Total invertebrate density and biomass were not different (P > 0.05) among treatments. Coleoptera (beetles) density and biomass were greatest (P < 0.05) in FKL plots in 1986. Coleoptera, Lepidoptera larvae, and Hemiptera were most preferred (P < 0.05) by 3-, 7-, 14-,21-, and 28-day-old bobwhite chicks. Kobe lespedeza plots contained a greater stem density (P < 0.05) of Fabaceae (legumes) than OF plots in 1985 and 1986 and FOF plots in 1986. In both years, FOF plots contained a greater (P < 0.05) plant biomass than FKL and OF plots. Kobe lespedeza strips and burning can be used for management of bobwhite nest and brood habitat.

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