by Daniel King
May was a great month for us! We initiated our official spring cock call counts on 19 May and have conducted four counts thus far. Our initial counts are encouraging, and in fact (at this point) they are the highest counts we’ve observed at RPQRR, even better than in 2016. This year’s mean is 9.2 versus 7.2 in 2016 and 3.9 birds/stop in 2019. We will continue to conduct counts for the next 30 days, and counts will likely go down as time goes on and temperatures rise.
We’re sitting at 10.08 inches of rain at this point which is slightly above our 10-year mean.
We recorded our first nest on 5 May and our first hatch on 20 May. Since then we’ve confirmed 15 more nests (12 bobwhites, 3 scaled quail). Four bobwhite nests and one scaled quail nest have hatched, two (both scaled quail) were depredated, two were abandoned, and five are still incubating (1 scaled, 4 bobwhites).
We released 76 scaled quail (translocated from Bailey and Crane counties) in late March of which 28 hens were radiomarked. Since that time, 9 have died (from predation), two are off property (but still being tracked), and five birds are missing. As of May 30, only one of these hens has initiated a nest.
As of March 1, we were tracking 93 birds (70 bobs, 23 scaled). Since that time, we’ve recorded 35 mortalities (6 scaled, 29 bobwhites); 11 birds are missing, and six are off-property. As of 28 May we were still tracking 47 birds (13 scaled, 34 bobwhites).