Small, un-manicured farms with fencerows, brushy hedgerows, fallow fields and open woodlots once created a patchwork quilt of bobwhite habitat. Photo: Ben Robinson
Nesting and brood-rearing habitat, consisting of native grasses and forbs (i.e., wildflowers & “weeds”), are key components of bobwhite habitat and the most likely to be missing on the landscape.
This Loggerhead Shrike is but one of a suite of grasslands songbirds that is in decline because it requires the same habitat as the bobwhite.
Prime bobwhite habitat as it looks in South Texas. While the plant species may change, bobwhite habitat retains its structure throughout the range.
Since the early 1900s, the bobwhite has been known as the "fire bird" because of its dependence on fire to disturb the landscape and "re-set" the plant succession button. Prescribed fire under very controlled circumstances is an invaluable tool for creating and maintaining the habitat bobwhites require.
Returning native grasses to grazing operations to benefit livestock, producers, grassland birds, bobwhites and taxpayers is an essential element of NBCI's efforts to restore wild bobwhites on working lands across the range.
Active, purposeful management of forests to re-create savannas or "grassy woodlands" is a key NBCI objective in restoring wild bobwhites.
Bobwhite habitat provides excellent habitat for butterflies, such as this Monarch, as well as a wide range of pollinators. Photo: Bruce Schuette
A Bobwhite Revival
25 States. The unified strategy for bobwhite restoration... the most comprehensive interstate effort on behalf of a resident game bird in the history of wildlife management.
NBCI's Bobwhite Almanac, State of the Bobwhite 2015. NBCI’s Bobwhite Almanac/State of the Bobwhite Report is an annual publication of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) to provide a range-wide snapshot of population, hunting and conservation status of the northern bobwhite, Colinus virginianus, as well as a sampling of major efforts underway to reverse the bobwhite decline.