Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch

Webisode Library

Dummy Nests and Quail CSI – Nesting cover is one of the most-often limiting factors for quail managers. Across the bobwhite’s range nest success (“hatch rate”) averages only 28%. In this video Dr. Rollins and RPQRR intern Christine Litton demonstrate how to use “dummy nests” (simulated quial nests) to estimate hatch rate, and how to measure suitable nesting habitat. This demonstration is highly recommend for any aspiring “Student of Quail.” Additionally, Dr. Rollins discusses how to use egg shell evidence to make “educated guesses” as to which predators may have been involved in nest “break ins.”

How to Search for Eyeworms in Quail – Eyeworms (Oxyspirura petrowii) have been identified as possible culprits in the “quail decline” that is occurring in west Texas. As of 2013, the maximum number of eyeworms removed form one bobwhite was 82. Watch this video as research assistant Becky Ruzicka demonstrates the method used to inspect quail for eyeworms. Since this vdeo was shot, we have learned that the nasal sinuses are also key habitats for eyeworms. For a general discussion on Operation Idiopathic Decline see Projects.

Operation Idiopathic Decline – The role that disease and parasites may play in quail dynamics has been largely ignored since the 1920s. After the (in our opinion) inexplicable decline of quail in the Rolling Plains, the Board of RPQRF “got serious” about disease and funded a comprehensive project dubbed “Operation Idiopathic Decline.” Currently (as of Feb 2014), the RPQRF has invested $3.4 million into this ground-breaking study of disease and parasites. This webisode explains OID in more depth.

Plant succession – Plant succession is the “orderly, predictable process of change in plant communities over time.” A knowledge of plant5 succession is one of the most powerful tools in the managers tool-kit. In this video, Dr. Rollins explains how sucxcession works, and shows how relatively minor changes in the timing of soil disturbance (in this case disking on rangeland) can promote vastly different plant communities. Changes are discussed relative to plant and insect diversity and why this practice is important for quail management.

Sounds quail make – You’re familiar with the iconic ‘poor-bob-white’ whistle and the memories that such a whistle evokes. But did you know that a bobwhite makes over a dozen different “vocalizations?” Here Dr. Dale Rollins, executive director for the RPQRR and a World Quail Calling Champion (2001) does his a capella renditions of various quail calls and related sounds. Researchers and quail managers often base their “quail counts” on various whistles that the quail make. Learning to interpret these calls (and maybe even mimic them!) can give you a better appreciation of “quail talk” and perhaps even make you a more successful quail hunter.

Ragweeds and Quail – Ambrosia is often used to describe the “food of the gods.” A fitting association for quial managers as the Latin name of ragweed is “Ambrosia.” Western ragweed is the plant that earned the dedication of quail hunters as it did the disdain of hay fever sufferers. In most winters it is an important (if not the most important) seed in the bobwhite’s crop. In this webisode Dr. Rollins compares and contrasts three species of ragweed found on RPQRR.
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