The staff at RPQRR put In a lot of hours during November as they trapped the Ranch for 12 days straight. They trapped a total of 464 birds (including 40 blue quail). Standardized results (based on birds caught per 100 “trap-nights”) show this Fall’s numbers to be basically the same as last year’s. Those numbers actually surprised us (we thought they be half that). Our trapping total as ranged from a low of 6.0 birds/100 trap-nights (2012) to a high of 266.0 (2016). Now, back when we hunted (2015-16) our leg-banded quail retrieved while hunting suggested we had only banded about half of the quail, thus we had twice as many quail as what we had trapped. Whether that ratio holds true in “poor” years is unknown, and we won’t be hunting this year.
As evidence of a geriatric population, 29.7% of the bobwhites were “adults”, and 16% were older than two years. The oldest was a hen that was banded as a juvenile back in 2014 making her about 5.5 years old. The odds of a wild bobwhite attaining such an old age are perhaps 10,000:1. Over the past 11 years, we’ve trapped one blue quail that was at least 5 years old, but this is the oldest bobwhite we’ve trapped.