Endangered Masked Bobwhite quail is coming back.

Masked Bobwhite

Colinus virginianus ridgewayi

Welcome back to Arizona and northern Mexico thanks to The Avian Reintroduction and Translocation Database (ARTD) for tracking the recovery efforts.
The adult male masked bobwhite has a deep cinnamon colored breast and a black head and throat. Some may have a white stripe traveling from the eye down to the neck and other varying patches of white on the head and throat. The males have crown feathers that darken with age. The rest of the plumage is an array of black, brown, cinnamon, white, and buff feathers in a pattern similar to other bobwhite species. The female bobwhite has plumage that is mottled brown, black, and white, with a pale cinnamon colored throat.

The Masked bobwhite had a wide area it called home in the southwest, from the grassy plains of southern Arizona to Sonora, Mexico. Currently, reintroduced populations of bobwhite reside in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and two ranches in Sonora.

The Masked bobwhite eats many indigenous plants. During the fall, winter, and early spring, the seeds of the Whiteball Acacia (Acacia angustissima) seems to make up much of the bird’s diet. Berries and small fruits are also incorporated when available. Insects are eaten for protein during the breeding season.
The Masked bobwhite begins nesting with the start of the monsoon season. Bobwhites male and female protect the nest and raise the young. The nest is formed in a shallow depression on the ground, well camouflaged in its surroundings. The female will lay ten to twenty eggs, from which about eleven chicks will hatch. The family stays together until late spring. A female can lay three clutches of eggs during her breeding season.

The Masked bobwhite is listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. It is also protected by the Lacey Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has an approved recovery plan with a goal of introducing self-maintained populations in Arizona and Sonora, and eventually delisting the species.

If the Masked Bobwhite quail is threatened it freezes or becomes stationary and blends easily into its environment. This camouflage affords protection from being preyed upon by foxes, coyotes, raccoons, possums, hawks, and owls.


Colinus virginianus ridgewayi October 16, 2008

The Avian Reintroduction and Translocation Database (ARTD)

Listen to Masked Bobwhite call: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masked_Bobwhite

free image: http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?recNum=BD0804


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