The Top Ten Myths about Upland Birds
#1 Turkeys eat or kill quail
Contrary to belief, turkeys do not eat or even kill quail. Hard evidence has not proven this fact. Scientific studies of quail and turkey have proven turkeys do not harass quail. These studies include examining turkey crops, radio collared quail and monitoring quail nest with cameras.
The idea of “bust’n up” the covey to prevent inbreeding is thought to have come from a quail hunter who wanted to gain access to property closed to hunting. On the contrary, studies show that a covey of quail is nothing more than a group of quail that have gathered together at any given time. Quail do not always stay in the same cluster they move in and out to different coveys. This mixing of birds prevents inbreeding.
#3 To have quail you have to have surface water
Surface water is NOT essential. Quail not only get water from surface water but also from dew drops, rain, and snow. They also get the water they need from eating succulent leaves, fleshy fruits and insects.
#4 Red-tailed hawks kill quail
Since red-tailed hawks do not have the speed of the alert, fast flying quail capturing them is very difficult thus making this statement false. Healthy quail get away! Actually red-tailed hawks do more good than bad. They actually prey on other predators and even scare them away.
#5 Quail are monogamous
A hen isn’t always faithful to her mate. Often times she may lay a clutch of eggs and then leave the nest to select another mate and lay a second or even third clutch of eggs.
#6 The hen quail is needed to incubate eggs
After a hen lays her eggs she may leave the nest for her mate to incubate and brood. In all actuality the male incubates 25 percent of all clutches and raise them by himself
#7 Predators are killing off all the quail and pheasants
People think that since they aren’t seeing the birds that the predators are to blame. It’s not just the predators it’s due to poor habitat. If the birds do not have a good habitat they often leave the area to find one that is more suited for them.
#8 Rooster pheasants are the only pheasants that crow
Hen pheasants also have a voice box that allows them to crow. They normally don’t because their female hormones overpower any trace of male hormones they may have.
#9 Not hunting a property will help populate an area that quail are found
The amount of quail on a property is determined by how many quail a property can support. If proper habitat is not there, neither will the quail be.
#10 You can increase population of pheasants by decreasing the hunting opportunities
Since roosters are polygamous and will mate with several hens all that is need for normal reproduction is ten percent of the population to be roosters. The pheasant population is affected by sever winters, poor weather conditions during the nesting seasons, and the lack of suitable habitat.