By: BQI biologist Dallas Ingram
Fall covey counts used in monitoring Bobwhite Quail populations are underway across Georgia, including several state Wildlife Management Areas. These counts allow biologists and managers to estimate fall quail populations prior to quail season, which runs Nov. 15 – Feb. 28. Hunting pressure can then be regulated to ensure that the bobwhite harvest does not negatively impact population sustainability.
Volunteers are in place at least 45 minutes before sunrise at a monitoring point and listen for the loud “koi-lee” call that quail make during covey formation throughout the fall. This call is used to locate other coveys and allow birds in a covey that may have been scattered during the night to relocate each other. Covey counts require a lot of manpower and could not be done on such a large scale without volunteers. Silver lake WMA in Decatur County has 28 monitoring points.
This year, for the first time, we were able to complete the counts in just one morning thanks to DNR employees, local volunteers and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) wildlife students. Thank you to the 34 volunteers that helped to make this year’s covey count a great success!
If you would like more information on covey counts or managing for quail, contact one of our Bobwhite Quail Initiative biologists. East Region (706-554-3745), Central Region (478-296-6176), or Southwest Region (229-420-1212). Learn more about Bobwhite Quail in Georgia at our website, http://georgiawildlife.com/conservation/quail.
Also, UGA Chapter of Quail Forever is hosting a “Birds and Brews” event at Creature Comforts Brewery in Athens, Ga. on Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. Proceeds will benefit quail management on public land in Georgia and youth programs! Horderves, raffles, a silent auction, and a live auction will take place at the event. Guns, hunts, and other awesome prizes will be available.