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September 2017 Bird of the Month – Northern Bobwhite

nothern-bobwhite

September’s Bird of the Month is the Northern Bobwhite, and here is the article in the September 2017 Kite written by Ben Kolstad.

Northern Bobwhite  Colinus virginianus

The distinctive call of the only quail species native to the eastern United States used to be heard all over Palm Beach County, even here in the southern portions where I live. However, the ground-nesting and dwelling Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus)
is becoming increasingly rare across the county—and the country. Some attribute the decline to the success of the imported red fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), but habitat loss could just as easily be responsible (Audubon’s online field guide refuses to speculate as to why, while National Geographic’s 2006 Complete Birds of North America cites habitat manipulation and the fire ant, of course, it’s likely to be a combination of these and other factors).

As with many bird species of the open pinewoods, its call is distinctive and carrying, and this one is easy for anthropomorphizing apes like me to shoehorn into the species name. A whistled “bob-WHITE” that rings out across the woods can mean only one thing: the presence of this chunky little quail. (And frequently, that’s the only clue to its presence; it is often very hard to spot.)

Although there are no other native species in the region to compare it to, a brief description would mention its plump body, short tail, reddish-brown back, black head, and white eyeline and throat. Unlike several species of quail in the western United States, Northern Bobwhite does NOT have the head plume that drops down over its eyes in cartoon renditions.

(Photographer’s please note: next month’s BOM is the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow.)

Please check out the last picture by Kenny Miller in the KITE and to see the slide show of the entire virtual gallery this month, along with photographer etc  — click on BOM SLIDE SHOW below the pictures displayed here:

September 2017 Bird of the Month – Northern Bobwhite Sparrow Slide Show