Bob White Characteristics and Habits
Named because of it’s bobwhite call, seeds and berries and other fruits make up the bobwhite quail’s diet for the most part. It also eats leafy vegetation and insects. Seeds are the bird’s mainstay most of the year. Acorns are favored most of all when in season. Adult bobwhites generally feed early in the morning and just before dark when it is cool. When they have chicks they generally feed all day.
Temperatures of 104 degrees Fahrenheit and above are deathly to quail and extreme temperatures can kill them in just minutes. Once their body’s core temperature reaches 114-115 degrees Fahrenheit they die (Texas Tech University Natural Resources Management).
Insects, berries, and dew provide most of the bird’s water needs although it will sometimes take advantage of open water holes.
The bobwhite’s habitat is uncultivated fields with woods nearby or woods along the edges of cultivated fields, which seemed to be among its favorite places on the farm I grew up on. Bobwhites also like open woods that have occasional clearings here and there.
Bobwhites behave in many ways like chickens and their chicks even resemble the Bantam baby chicks we raised on our farm.
Bobwhite mating call
Bobwhite Birds Are Resilient
In the months of April and May bobwhites set up whistling territories and they defend those territories from other male bobwhites. Female bobwhites within that territory are spoken for! The male bobwhites employ the same courtship rituals that Bantam chickens use during mating season – bowing motions, tail fanning, strutting, etc.
Nests are usually on the ground. Together the bobwhite pair scratches out dirt on the ground and then lines it with grasses and bits of dead leaves. They arch weeds and tall grasses over the top for shelter.
The quail eggs are very popular among many egg-eating predators and so usually only one nest out of four produces chicks and many of those do not survive either, due to predators. Ever resilient, quail simply rebuild and start over when their nests are pillaged and destroyed (Texas Tech University Natural Resources Management).
The male bobwhite takes turns with the female sitting on the nest, but spends less time at it. If she is killed however, he takes over, hatching and raising the chicks alone (National Geographic 1973).
The broken wing, injury charade, is employed if predators threaten the brood. The first 2 weeks are the most crucial because that is when 50% or more of the hatch is often lost due to predators and bad weather (Texas Tech University).
Quail Mother and Baby Chicks In the Wild
Bobwhite Birds Are Becoming Fewer and Fewer In Population
According to Lake Cumberland Game Bird Farm and Hatchery, “Changing land-use patterns during the last several decades have reduced bobwhite quail to but a shadow of its earlier status.”
Animaltrial.com says, “During much of the year they travel in coveys, sleeping at night in a compact circle, tails to the center. Thus they can fly out in all directions if alarmed.”
Here is a sad bit of information from Audubon.org: “The Northern Bobwhite has been used extensively for nearly 80 years in laboratory research to study the behavioral and physiological effects of pesticides on wildlife.”
Another Version of the Bobwhite Mating Call
The video below will give you a chance to see what quail chicks or bobwhite chicks look like so that you can watch the video of the mother bobwhite and her chicks over again and have a better idea of what you're watching for, since the chicks are particularly hard to see in the grass.
Quail Chicks In Captivity
More About Birds & Butterflies From Au Fait and Her Friends
- Call of the Whippoorwill
Remembering the call of the whippoorwill during the night, deep in the country in Central Wisconsin. Includes information about the bird, it's preferred habitat, it's range, and an audio of it's call.
- The Adventures of Chip, Dale and, Bob
How my husband protects the birdfeeder from the squirrels.
- Glasswing Butterfly Including the Pink Glasswing Butterfly
All about the glasswing butterfly. Range, eating and mating habits, lots of pictures, including a photo of the glasswing caterpillar, and even a picture and information on the pink glasswing butterfly.
- Is This the Real "Murder"of Crows!!
Fascinating report on how crows have learned how to kill poisonous frogs without harming themselves.
- The Bluebirds And The Monarch Butterflies Have Come Home.
The Bluebirds And The Monarchs Have Came Home. The bluebirds are nesting in our backyard. The monarchs are in our milkweed garden. Come and take a look at the beauty of nature.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 04, 2016:
Shyron, thank you for gracing this article with one of your excellent poems. I would tell you however, that the mockingbird does in fact have a song of it's own, but it is so good at mocking other birds and creatures and even things, that people may not even recognize it when they hear it singing its own song.
From Wikipedia: "There are four recognized calls for the mockingbird: the nest relief call, hew call, chat or chatburst, and the begging call. The hew call is mainly used by both sexes for potential nest predators, conspecific chasing, and various interactions between mates," (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_mockingbird... The authentic calls described above can be heard on the above page at about the middle of the page on the right.
Thanks again for your addition to this article! Take care . . .
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on March 19, 2016:
You know I love the Bobwhite-quail
Who sings of love into the night
Like all my favorites
Each one give their own song
Except the Mocking bird who loves to sing along.
Hope all is well with you dear friend
Blessings and Hugs '/:)
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 30, 2016:
Colorfulone, thank you for reading and commenting! These birds are nice and their chicks are adorable. Glad you enjoyed the read!
Susie Lehto from Minnesota on January 23, 2016:
Bobwhites would be nice to have living in the woods around the yard. They would fit right in with the Partridge and Ruff Grouse. Such cute birds and I love their voice.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 30, 2015:
Sujaya Venkatesh, thank you for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed! Happy New Year!!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 19, 2015:
Keith Tax, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. So glad you enjoyed!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 16, 2015:
Peggy W., thank you for commenting and sharing this article! Thankfully we didn't get all the rain forecast last time. All our lakes are above what they need to be. Cold is enough without rain on top of it. Merry Christmas to you too!
sujaya venkatesh on December 15, 2015:
a different treat for the eyes as well as the ears
Keith Schroeder from Wisconsin on December 13, 2015:
This brings back fond memories for me too. The chicks are sooooo cute!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 13, 2015:
Happy to share this nice hub again. Those who love seeing and learning about birds should enjoy it. Finally getting some cool weather again...also rain today in Houston. Nice day to stay inside and for those who like football...this day is a winner! I know that one of our television sets will be tuned in much of the day to the various games by my hubby. Hope you are enjoying your day up in north Texas and that you will enjoy the balance of this holiday season. Merry Christmas!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 12, 2015:
Aesta1, thank you for coming by and commenting. Glad you enjoyed!
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 10, 2015:
I love listening to birds and I will add the bobwhites to the list of birds I want to see and listen to. Thanks for the introduction.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 11, 2015:
Sharon, thank you for coming by and having another listen to the Bobwhite's call. I'm truly sorry about what's happening across the street from you. I wish there was some way to preserve the nature that used to be there. Sadly, there are just too many people who can't sleep at night knowing there is any part of this planet that isn't covered with concrete or asphalt and it would seem to be their goal to correct that as much as possible before they die.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on November 06, 2015:
Au fait, I still love to come here to listen to the Bobwhite say its name over and over again. I have not heard a Bobwhite here in Texas and since they clear cut the 30+ acres across the road from my home I probably never will, so... I am glad I can at least listen to it here.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 15, 2015:
Sujaya Venkatesh, thank you again for stopping by!
sujaya venkatesh on September 12, 2015:
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 11, 2015:
Sujaya Venkatesh, thank you for stopping by!
sujaya venkatesh on September 09, 2015:
a bird lover indeed
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 05, 2015:
peachpurple, thank you for coming by! I think it would be very hard for wild birds to be caged. Some places do have hunting season for quails, but I agree that we already have so many dead animals/birds in the supermarket and many are thrown away because they don't sell, so why kill more when we aren't fully utilizing what we've already killed?
peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 04, 2015:
Some say quail can be eaten but I find it unkind to do so. Keeping it as a pet would be better
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 03, 2015:
Patricia (pstraubie48), thank you for your continued interest in these lovely birds. Bobwhites may not be native to where you're living. Someone told they heard one here in Texas not long ago and I was surprised. I have never heard one here and I've been here for 26 years,
Thank you for sending the angels, and may they always stay close to you and those you love.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 31, 2015:
Hope you have a lovely new week.
I miss these lovely birds ....i have not heard them where I live at all.
Angels are headed your way bringing blessings this morning ps
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 27, 2015:
Shyron, thank you for stopping by. Maybe John or you will hear that bird again and be able to identify it for sure. Going to be HOT today and the next 4 days, so take care and stay cool!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 26, 2015:
Patricia (pstraubie), thank you for coming back to visit and for sharing your thoughts and sending angels and good wishes.
If the comments are truncated on this article, it should have a hyperlink just above this comment box that says, "see 50 more comments" or some such thing. Just click on it and all the comments will appear. Comments aren't truncated on all of my articles.
I do hope that all is well with you. You're being away so much makes me worry a little bit that maybe things aren't going well. I hope they are and that angels are surrounding you and your family at all times wherever you go making everything go the best it possibly can in all ways. Blessings and hugs to you too.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on August 25, 2015:
Au fait, I think that John heard a Bob White last night just before he came inside. Maybe not but I asked him to imitate the sound he heard and it sounded like one.
I hope all is well with you dear friend will be out all day tomorrow.
Blessings and Hugs.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 24, 2015:
Just wanted to say good morning....I think I read this before but was unable to access the other comments to see.
Bob Whites were very prevalent where I grew up and hearing there call was always a joy to us as we played.
Here where I live in Florida I do not hear them. There are many other birds singing and chatting away each day but no Bob Whites.
Wishing you a lovely new week.
Angels are on the way bringing blessings and hugs. ps
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 21, 2015:
AliciaC, thank you for stopping by. So glad you enjoyed this article!
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 16, 2015:
This is an interesting and informative hub, Au fait. Thank you for teaching me about the bobwhite!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 11, 2015:
Peggy W, thank you for sharing you thoughts and for sharing this article again. I love all the birds and miss the sanctuary for them we had in our backyard several years ago now. I love the cardinals too, and helped them increase in number by feeding them and making fresh water available to them. Glad you enjoy this article.
Hope you are staying cool. We've been having 103-105 everyday for a week and it finally cooled down to 100 today. :)
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 10, 2015:
Love this hub about the Bobwhites. I woke up this morning to the high pitched chirps of our resident cardinal family. Our birdhouse is being refurbished with new nesting material so the sparrows are busy. Our birdbath gets a constant workout with robins, bluejays, doves and other birds using it. Love watching all the avian visitors to our yard.
Sharing this again for those who might have missed it. Heading out now to accomplish something in the yard before the temps rise even more. Enjoy your day!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 03, 2015:
Dolores Monet, thank you for stopping by and sharing your memories. I haven't heard one of these birds in years either. Not since leaving Wisconsin.
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on August 01, 2015:
When I was a kid, that beautiful call was the background music to my time spent outdoors. I loved to hear that sweet sound. I haven't heard a bobwhite call in years.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 24, 2015:
Shyron, so glad you enjoy this article. Thank you for the votes & shares. I don't recall hearing the Bobwhite here in Texas either.
This heat is killing me. It never gets lower than 83 degrees and that's hot to me. Not as bad as 100 + but still too hot. I look forward to December and wish it could be December all year long with weather conditions to match.
Hope you are taking it easy and staying cool today. Blessings and hugs dear one . . .
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 22, 2015:
Somehow I never tire of reading about this bird or listening to its call.
I am so glad you wrote this. I miss this bird from my childhood. I never hear them here in Texas.
I hope you are surviving this awful heat.
Blessings and Hugs dear friend.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 15, 2015:
Moonlake, you are quite welcome. I really enjoyed that article of yours. Well, I really am surprised you don't have bobwhites up where you are. I can't imagine why, but maybe it just gets too cold or something. Hard to imagine there's that much difference . . . thank you for adding more to the story, and now we have a mystery as to why these birds aren't up north.
moonlake from America on June 14, 2015:
I have never heard that sound from a bird here. Many people here hunt partridge but never heard of anyone hunting quail in this area. It's like pheasants I think their in Marathon Co. but none here.
By the way I forgot to thank you for the listing of my hub The Bluebirds And The Monarch Butterflies Have Come Home.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 14, 2015:
Moonlake, so good to see you again! Thank you for taking time to read this article and write about your experience with the partridge. I'm surprised you don't have Bobwhites up there. They were always calling when I was growing up down in Hancock, WI. It's still on the map. I was actually on a farm outside of that little village.
Did you listen to the audio of the bird's call? I never actually saw the birds, but I heard them calling thousands of times over the years. You may have heard them too, but not seen them. Maybe they don't go that far north, but I don't think it's that much further.
Good to see you again. Hope all is as well as it can be with you and your family.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 13, 2015:
Peggy W, thank you for reviewing this article again and for the share. The chicks are adorable, and they look a lot like bantam chicks. Or maybe the other way around . . .
Ceiling fans can stretch the dollars that are spinning around in the electric meter this time of year. Most of the time I stay cool, except when I must go outside. :( Hope all is well there . . .
moonlake from America on June 12, 2015:
No Bobwhites here that I have heard of. I did run into a mean little Partridge the other day. The dog and I were taking a walk in the meadow when something came out of the trees and made a lot of racket at first I thought it was a bear. When I looked up I couldn't see it but when I looked down there she was mad as a hornet she looked like a mini turkey with tail feathers out. She had a bunch of little ones and they were running everywhere. I wished I had taken my camera. Interesting hub enjoyed reading it the second time.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 12, 2015:
Loved reading this hub and the videos of those Bobwhite chicks are so cute. Sharing this again for all those who might have missed reading this. Hopefully you are staying cool with the assistance of air conditioning where you live in Texas. I know that our units are humming away these days as are our ceiling fans.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 29, 2013:
Thank you Shyron, for stopping by and giving all the votes, pinning, and sharing on FB and with followers! I liked hearing the Bob White's call in the summertime too.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 21, 2013:
Thank you thumbi7 for reading and commenting on this hub -- glad you enjoyed!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 21, 2013:
Thank you for stopping by Glenda. The chicks are so cute and they remind me of the Bantam chicks we had on our farm when I was growing up.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on September 20, 2013:
I love this, I can still hear them calling in the night.
Voted-up, UABI, and shared, pinned and liked.
JR Krishna from India on September 19, 2013:
I see similar birds here as well. I don't whether they are bobwhites; but I love them. I noticed them fighting. Joy to watch.
Thanks for sharing
Glenda on August 30, 2013:
I just adore the pictures of the chicks. Lovely hub.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 28, 2013:
Thank you Shyron, for all the votes, the share, the pin, and most of all for your support and friendship.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on August 24, 2013:
Every once in a while, I come here to listen to the video. This is one of my favorites. This is what I miss about living on my Grandfather's farm. Voted up, UABI, shared and pinned on Awesome HubPages board.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 10, 2013:
Truthfornow, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Glad you enjoyed!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 09, 2013:
Thank you rajan jolly for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this article! Glad you enjoyed! :)
Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on August 06, 2013:
That is one cute bird. It was interesting to watch all of the videos. Love that whistling call of theirs. I have never seen one in the wild so it was nice to have all these videos to look at.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 06, 2013:
I loved learning about the bobwhite quail and some of its habits. Voted up interesting and shared.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 05, 2013:
Thank you Aunt Jimi, for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this hub! We used to have Bantam chickens on the farm where I grew up. We called them Banty chickens. The babies were so cute, and they do resemble the baby quail quite a bit, but the Bantam chicks are actually smaller when they're new.
Aunt Jimi from The reddest of the Red states! on August 03, 2013:
They remind me of bantam babies. They're the cutest little things you ever saw. I didn't know about the temperature thing with quail. Interesting hub Au fait. I think kids and grandchildren would enjoy seeing the videos.
Going to share and voted up.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 05, 2013:
Appreciate your stopping by Bobby. If you're paying the expenses, expect you'll find a lot of takers to travel with.
Actually, I'm not even near a computer for 11 hours every day and I sleep every once in a while too, so I'm not here as much as you think.
Hope all is well with you and that you're getting some responses . . . ;) xox
diogenes from UK and Mexico on June 01, 2013:
Hi darlin" Bobwhite's over heah, pecking around and whisling for a mate...one that likes to travel!
Boy you're on here a lot?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 01, 2013:
Deborah-Diane, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. I miss not hearing the bobwhite. They may live here in TX, but I haven't heard one.
Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on May 24, 2013:
I have always enjoyed listening to bird calls, and the Bob White has a distinctive one. In fact, right now we are "bird sitting" our daughter's parakeet, and enjoying listening to his sweet trill. Wonderful information.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 15, 2013:
Thank you for stopping by Bobby. That's all you think about isn't it? The pitter patter of little (quail) feet?
Take care . . . xoxoxo
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 15, 2013:
PegCole17, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! Glad you enjoyed. :)
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 14, 2013:
Thank you Peggy W, for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this hub! Glad you enjoyed. The chicks on the video are adorable.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 13, 2013:
mperrottet, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this hub! They are pretty birds and their babies are so cute!
diogenes from UK and Mexico on March 13, 2013:
Tweet, tweet. I'm still thinking about sex!!
Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on March 12, 2013:
These beautiful birds are fascinating. I love their call and their coloring which so perfectly camouflages them in their habitat. What great videos you've included here along with the interesting information. Sad to think these birds are used to test pesticides. What a shame. They're really wonderful to watch as they scavenge around for food. The mother is teaching her chicks many valuable things. Great hub!
Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on March 12, 2013:
I was lucky enough to get some video of quail out in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I love the call these birds make - it's one of the few that I can pick out, since it's so distinctive. Good hub, voted up, interesting and sharing.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 11, 2013:
These videos were great. Few people would actually have a chance to see Bobwhites in the wild. The last video shows the chicks clearly. Obviously they must have been orphaned and were being raised until they could be released back into the wild...hopefully. Informative hub! UUI votes + sharing.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 15, 2012:
Thank you John Merrill for stopping by and leaving a comment. The quail babies are adorable, and I bet your grandchildren would enjoy seeing them and having someone read my hub to them if they aren't reading on their own yet.
John Merrill on December 08, 2012:
Thought I'd check out one of your other articles while I was here. Those quail babies are cute aren't they? My grandchildren would probably enjoy seeing the videos you have here. I'll send them the URL.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 27, 2012:
Thank you rebeccamealey for reading and commenting on this hub! I didn't realize that quail (Bob whits) were threatened. Thanks for adding that info.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 25, 2012:
Thank you for reading and commenting, moonlake. And thanks for the share.
Hard to imagine a harsher winter than Central Wisconsin where I grew up -- negative 10 degrees was often the high temp for the day in winter. I can recall a couple of days that got down to minus 39 with a stiff wind blowing. Sometimes the minus zero weather (20 or more degrees below zero) went on for weeks at a time. Still, we had Bob Whites every summer. Seems like you're right up there where I'm from, so I can't imagine why they wouldn't like it by you just as much as they did where I was. It's a mystery . . . ;)
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 24, 2012:
I remember the Bobwhite's call from childhood too. It is sad that their population is dwindling! thanks for sharing you knowledge on Bobwhites.
moonlake from America on November 24, 2012:
We don't have Bobwhites here. People have tried to get them started here but it never seems to work. They just can't survive our hash winters. Voted up on your hub and shared.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 10, 2012:
Thank you Tillsontitan for taking time to read and comment on my hub. Glad your cockatiel enjoyed the birdcall too.
Yes, Bob is doing his own research on how often men think about sex . . . ;)
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 07, 2012:
sgbrown: Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my hub. Very much appreciated. I never got to see the Bob White even though they were all around our farm, but I did hear them all the time. We had Bantam chickens and they look very similar to the quail chicks. They are so cute with the stripes on their backs, running along behind their mother, tripping over their own feet at times and doing an unexpected somersault!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 05, 2012:
aviannovice: Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my hub!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 04, 2012:
Thank you again Shyron. I haven't heard the bobwhite since leaving Wisconsin either, and I really miss them.
Mary Craig from New York on June 04, 2012:
Hm, I think you need to keep an eye on Bob (he thinks he's a bird).
Very interesting. Lots of good stuff to read and see here.
I must admit my cockatiel loved listening to the Bobwhite call!
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on June 03, 2012:
I love the Bob White Quail. My dad raised bob-white when I was a kid. I was always amazed watching them hatch and the babies were soooo little! Living in the country I get to hear them often, such a wonderful sound. Awesome hub! Voted up and interesting. Have a wonderful day! :)
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 03, 2012:
Voted awesome and up. The videos were very entertaining, and I enjoyed reading about these quail. Thanks for the great info.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 03, 2012:
This is a very cool bird and I grew up hearing it call throughout the day up in Central Wisconsin. Thank you Bobby, for reading and commenting. Think I will come back to the birds later after I see what you've left me! ;)
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on June 02, 2012:
You know I love the Bobwhite and was thinking about their call. You are a mind reader.
diogenes from UK and Mexico on June 01, 2012:
Hahahaha Misty: The Bobwhite, I'm on to you, you know.
And you picked a bird with almost my exact profile.
A good article: I haven't checked out the videos yet as I just got up. I'll leave the birds to you, you do a better job.
White Bob x