2019 Field Day – Come along on RPQRR’s 11th annual field day, attended by more than 100 “Students of Quail.”  The weather was outstanding and we heard a chorus of bobwhites singing in the background as we toured our Research Ranch.  We thank our co-sponsors, Park Cities Quail Coalition and Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service, for making this field day possible.

Quail Posts – Quail and Game Cams – Dr. Dale Rollins of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch discusses the practice of providing supplemental feed to quail and how to use trail cameras to see where the feed is actually going.

Quail Posts – Mesquite Half Cut – Dr. Dale Rollins and a research assistant demonstrate a technique to provide cover for quail.

Quail Posts – Coping With Drought to Help Quail Populations –Texas is suffering from one of the worst droughts on record. Dr. Dale Rollins describes some ways to mitigate the lack of rain on quail population.

Quail Posts – Bobwhites & Small Mammals – Dr. Dale Rollins describes a study being conducted on the relationship between a healthy rodent population and a healthy Quail population.

Quail Posts – Getting To Know Your Quail Part 1 –Dr. Dale Rollins examines the external anatomy of a bobwhite quail.

Quail Posts – Sounds A Quail Makes – Award-winning Quail caller Dr. Dale Rollins whistles to demonstrate the many different sounds a bobwhite quail makes.

Quail Posts – Prescribed Burning for Quail – Dr. Dale Rollins discusses the benefits of prescribed burning as a quail habitat management tool.

Quail Posts – Dummy Nests: Quail CSI – Dr. Dale Rollins from the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch describes a method to determine what predators are eating quail nests.

Quail Posts – Bobwhites and Horned Lizards –Dale Rollins discusses the system in which bobwhites and horned lizards thrive.

Quail Posts – Softball Habitat Evaluation Technique – Dr. Dale Rollins evaluates quail habitat using the Softball Habitat Evaluation Technique.

Quail Posts – Getting To Know Your Quail Part 2 – Dr. Dale Rollins of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch examines the internal workings of a quail.

Quail Posts – Patch Burn Grazing – Ph.D. candidate Kurt Huffman discusses his research on patch burn grazing and the potential benefits of this practice for quail habitat.

Quail Posts – Wildfires & Quail – Dr. Dale Rollins describes the impact of Texas wildfires on quail populations and discusses ways to maintain and create quail habitat after a wildfire.

Quail Posts – Brush Sculpting – Dale Rollins discusses the many different brush sculpting approaches being taken on the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch and what they have learned.

Quail Food – Learn about what a quail eats, along with some examples of good food plants for quail.

Quail CSI – Learn how experts interpret radio collar evidence to determine which predator captured their quail.

Quail Posts – Plant Succession –Dale Rollins explains the process of plant succession and how a management practice as common as discing can have a drastically different outcome performed in different months of the year.

Coyotes and Quail –Coyotes are a predator of quail, but that’s not the only role they play in quail ecology.

Bobwhites: Canary of the Prairie – You may have heard of the canary in the coal mine; now learn why quail are the “canaries of the prairie.”

Brood Cover for Bobwhites – Quail chicks have their own unique set of habitat requirements and challenges. Learn what “brood rearing” habitat looks like and how to manage for it.

Radio Telemetry in Quail Management – Researchers use radio collars to track individual birds, giving us insights into where they go and what they do.

Roadrunners and Quail – It is widely believed that roadrunners represent a threat to quail by predating their nests and chicks, but to what extent does this occur?

Nesting Ecology of Bobwhites –Learn how bobwhites nest and what challenges they face when doing so.

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 quail nests) to estimate hatch rate, and how to measure suitable nesting habitat. This demonstration is highly recommended for any aspiring “Student of Quail.” Additionally, Dr. Rollins discusses how to use eggshell 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 quail 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.