Brent and Becky’s Bulbs becomes quail-friendly habitat

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Nov 20, 2012 - 01:31 PM

Photo: Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Ware Neck is now a member of Virginia’s Quail Recovery Team, and the daffodil and bulb farm has become a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat. Brent and Becky Heath, seated and standing at right, are shown with their son, Jay Hutchins, left, who recently joined the family business, and grandson Van Hutchins. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Ware Neck is now a member of Virginia’s Quail Recovery Team, and the daffodil and bulb farm has become a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat. Brent and Becky Heath, seated and standing at right, are shown with their son, Jay Hutchins, left, who recently joined the family business, and grandson Van Hutchins. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Photo: An area that has been seeded to create habitat.

An area that has been seeded to create habitat.

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Ware Neck has joined a community-wide effort to restore quail habitat, and has been named a Quail Recovery Team Member by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

Brent Heath said there were hundreds of quail coveys in the fields of Ware Neck when he was a teenager, but it’s now rare to spot one of the charming songbirds with the distinctive "bob-white" call. Becky Heath said the family-owned business is actively trying to turn the perimeter of the daffodil farm into prime nesting habitat for quail.

Initiated by Blair Farinholt of Ware Neck, the quail habitat restoration effort in Gloucester consists of planting quail-friendly grasses and shrubs on contiguous or near-contiguous properties to accommodate the bird’s wide-ranging feeding and ground nesting habits.

Becky said that young quail can neither move through the popular lawn grass Kentucky 31 fescue grown here nor feed themselves on it. Farming practices have destroyed the kinds of hedgerows in which quail thrive, and the edges of wooded areas often no longer have the kinds of plants that produce seed that quail and other songbirds enjoy.