Archive for the 'Quail' Category

Texas Brigades Inspire Careers

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
Bobwhite Brigade Cadets. Image:

Bobwhite Brigade Cadets. Image:

This is Passport to Texas

To categorize the Texas Brigades as “summer camp” is like calling a mountain lion “a kitty cat”.

This is not a normal summer camp. This is meant to be a lot more than that.

Writer, Aubry Buzek wrote a story about the Brigades for the October  issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

The editor of the magazine said, I want you to go to this summer camp and write about it. And I was thinking: Okay. There’s going to be fun stuff happening; I get there and it’s in the middle of a session on how conservation groups work in Texas….and conservation and hunters ethics. And I was like, Whoa!

The 5-day, cell-phone free, camps for youth build confidence and camaraderie with projects, public speaking and debates on conservation issues.

There are some really amazing instructors who come to this camp. There are instructors there who are wildlife biologists from Texas Parks and Wildlife, other private hunting ranches, water control authorities…just the gambit of [conservation] organizations in Texas. The kids get to meet people not easily accessible. Every instructor that I talked to said that they want these kids to pick up the phone and keep in touch with them. They want to help them grow now and into the future.

Aubry Buzek’s story on the Texas Brigades appears in the October issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Blue Quail Translocation

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

This is Passport to Texas

Five…four…three…two…one… [Birds flutter].

That’s Dale Rollins Director of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch. Along with Texas Parks and Wildlife his group released 88 wild-caught blue quail on the Matador Wildlife Management Area early last year.

So we’ve been trapping wild birds out in the San Angelo area and moving those here and testing two release styles to see which one, if either, is going to be an effective way of restoring blue quail to this country.

Blue quail, once plentiful in the Rolling Plains, have been absent for years. Various partners joined to reestablish populations of blue quail on public and private land. Researchers outfitted thirty-nine of the birds with tiny radio collars to track their movements. Texas Parks and Wildlife Biologist, Kara Campbell.

We’ll try and keep tabs on them, are they staying on the area, are they leaving the area, where they are moving and also survival. We’re just really excited to be part of it. This is the beginning stages and so you know it phase one pilot stage. And to be part of that is pretty neat. And we’ll see where it goes in the future.

Learn about blue quail on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation supports our series and helps to keep Texas wild with the support of proud members across the state. Find out more at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV: The State of Quail

Friday, November 13th, 2015

This is Passport to Texas

Grassland birds throughout North America, including the bobwhite quail, have been in decline.

06—Over the past 20, 30 years—we’ve seen serious declines across its entire range, including Texas.

Robert Perez is upland game bird program manager for Parks and Wildlife. He and others concerned about this enigmatic species’ survival appear in a segment called The State of Quail on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

07— Fundamentally, conservationists agree that the root cause is the changes in the quality and quantity of habitat.

During the segment, airing next week, watch conservation groups and private landowners, like Jim Willis, collaborate to improve habitat for quail, by planting native grasses, which provide shelter, seeds and insects for the birds.

19— This is a sample of a native grass. This plant contributes to the health of the land. This is the way you conserve moisture. Man has come in and ripped out a lot of this native grass and planted what we call improved grasses, which is really not improved, they’re invasive species, like Bermuda grass, and Bahia grass, and they don’t give back to the soil. They take from the soil.

The State of Quail airs the week of November 15 on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Quail Going Gangbusters

Thursday, October 15th, 2015
Bobwhite Quail

Bobwhite Quail

This is Passport to Texas

Late winter through early summer rainfall created ideal breeding conditions for quail in most parts of Texas.

14-We’re getting reports from all over from our staff that they’ve not seen this many quail in several years in some places–in other places, in decades. We’re talking about a species that has the potential to boom. And I think in some part of the state that’s what we’re seeing.

Before this, quail were in decline throughout much of the state, says upland game bird program leader, Robert Perez. Currently, large broods of chicks in all age classes dot the landscape.

07-This tells us that the window of opportunity was wide [due to abundant resources], and that when bobwhite hens had a nest failure, they were able to start again.

Perez is quick to point out that drought, alone, is not the cause of quail decline. Habitat loss is another factor.

23-And that’s where Parks and Wildlife has gone to great lengths to work with partners and landowners and wildlife cooperatives to bring quail back. And it’s important to remember that the rangelands of south Texas and the rangelands of the Rolling Plains, up into the Panhandle–quail are there because its big open spaces, and the land use is [mostly] compatible with bobwhite quail. And when the weather is great, we see that response. But, in other parts of the state,
we’ve really lost a lot of the available habitat.

Find information about quail restoration on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Quail on the Rebound

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
Bobwhite quail

Bobwhite quail

This is Passport to Texas

Quail’s short life span makes them vulnerable to extended drought.

07-During dry years there’s just not enough moisture to hatch out eggs, and there aren’t enough insects to really feed chicks and raise a brood.

Robert Perez is upland game bird program leader at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

16-So, they shrink down on the landscape and then they’re waiting on rain. How long do quail live? Their average lifespan is only several months. A better way to look at it is: each year’s crop–everything that’s produced in the summer–by the following spring, anywhere from 70 to 80% will be gone. They will be consumed, basically.

Texas eventually got some rain; the timing of the rainfall was as important the rain itself.

26-Late winter there was enough moisture to produce the forbes: all the plants that quail need to eat during January and February; those were available pretty much everywhere, and that gets those birds into breeding condition. And then as we moved into spring, it continued to rain. There was a flush of vegetation, lots of insects, soil moisture. And it kept raining intermittently: off and on, off and on, off and on–all the way up to about the second week of July for most of the entire state.

And that created a huge window for quail to breed, which, hunters in most areas of the state will notice when the season opens at the end of the month, says Perez.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.