Northern Bobwhite Brood Habitat Use in South Georgia

Providing habitat to recruit young into a population with high rates of annual turnover is vital if stable populations are to be maintained. We studied habitat selection using radio-tagged northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) with broods ≤ 2 weeks old on 2 intensively managed quail hunting plantations in southwest Georgia from 1992 to 1994. Habitat selectivity was analyzed using 1,443 locations from 75 broods. Fifty-eight of the 75 broods preferred fallow fields with use greater than expected (P ≤ 0.05). Insect abundance in fallow fields was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) greater than in other potential brood habitats. Fallow field management for bobwhite brood habitat is discussed.

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