The terrain of Rancho de Chavez provides a healthy habitat for the Northern Bobwhite Quail. You can often hear the whistled bob-white ringing from the land surrounding the ranch, but it is quite a bit harder to spot a Northern Bobwhite, as the bird’s elegantly dappled plumage offers excellent camouflage. They forage in groups, scurrying between cover or bursting into flight, if alarmed. Bobwhites have been in sharp decline throughout the past half-century, likely owing to habitat loss and changes in agriculture, and they are an increasingly high priority for conservation.
Bobwhite are small quail with rounded bodies, small heads, rounded wings, and short tails. They are intricately patterned in brown, buff, and black. Males have a bold black-and-white head pattern. Females have a buffy throat and eyebrow. Northern Bobwhites travel in coveys and run across the ground from the shelter of one shrubby patch to another. When they are flushed, they explode into flight with quick wingbeats and then duck into the nearest cover. Northern Bobwhites live in open pine forests, overgrown fields, shrubby areas, and grasslands.
Because of its history as a game bird, the Northern Bobwhite is one of the most intensively studied bird species in the world. Northern Bobwhites are divided into 22 subspecies, some of which were formerly considered to be separate species—such as the Masked Bobwhite, the Rufous-bellied Bobwhite, and the Black-headed Bobwhite. Although the females mostly look alike, the males vary dramatically from one subspecies to the next.
Northern Bobwhites were thought to be monogamous until researchers began radio-tracking individuals to follow their activities. It turns out that both male and female bobwhites can have multiple mates in one season.
The bobwhite genus is represented by more than 700 known fossils, dug up in sites ranging from Florida to Arizona to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Some of these fossils are at least 2.5 million years old. The oldest Northern Bobwhite on record was 6 years, 5 months old. They have short life spans but make up for it with prolific breeding abilities. Under good conditions, a bobwhite pair can produce 2 or 3 broods, totaling 25 offspring or more, in a single breeding season.
All hunts require the signing if a liability release waiver for the hunt property. No license required for this hunt. Processing or mounting fees are not included in the hunt fee; although, we can make arrangements on behalf of the hunter.