According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2020 is the “year of the rat.” As a Student of Quail, you need to study the relationship between rodent abundance and quail abundance; it may surprise you. Our technicians completed our semi-annual trapping effort last month. We set “Sherman traps” (125 traps per each of 8 habitat types) and check them for 4 consecutive nights (I.e., a sampling effort of 4,000 trap-nights total). We observed an increase in rodents, especially cotton rats, woodrats, and hispid pocket mice. I regard rats as “quail with fur.” An abundance of rodents likely buffers predation on quail. We’ll conduct our Soring helicopter count next month . . . I hope I see some rats from the air déjà vu March 2015!