Bobwhite Quail Covey –

bobwhite quail covey

Bobwhite Quail Covey –

Quail live in large families on the ground.  This big group of quail is a called a covey.  There can be as many as 50 or 60 birds, or as few as five in a covey.  Mostly I see coveys of about 20 birds.  Quail usually form their coveys in the late summer and stay together in the fall and winter.  During the spring, the coveys break apart in pairs to mate and lay eggs.

A quail covey roosts together on the ground at night.  They snuggle up close in a small circle to stay warm and to watch for predators during the long night.  You can always tell a quail roost, because they leave a small circular pile of sign that was the center of their roost.

Quail also search for food together.  During the day they forage for small seeds from grass and plants like plains bristle grass, broomweed, and hackberries.  They stay close to tall brush to escape from hawk attacks.  Foraging together in large groups gives them a better chance of avoiding predators.

Quail are a happy sign of a healthy prairie.

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