Letter: Change the habitat and the quail will return
I send a big thank you to the more than 100 property owners who registered for the Quail Habitat Workshop at Brent & Becky’s Bulbs. From the bits of conversation I overheard, everyone was having fun learning and enthusiastic about tweaking their land to provide the quail with food and shelter. The message was positive: Change the habitat and the Bobwhite will return.
If a property owner with a farm crop would like to do something right now, state game agencies recommend that crop is left standing in a strip 30 feet by 100 feet+ on the north side of a field adjacent to woods.
Allowing these areas to grow undisturbed for two or three years will provide vital nesting and brood-rearing habitat, as well as winter cover. While 30 feet by 100 feet (7/100ths of an acre) is not much space, if enough landowners participate in this plan, the plots quilted throughout our area will significantly contribute to the return of our Bobwhite Quail population. As a bonus, the habitat to attract quail is also the habitat that will feed our pollinators.
If you missed the workshop, take a look at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/quail for an introduction to keeping the necessary early succession habitat needed by quail. Both Open Land Habitat Management and Forest Land Habitat Management plans are discussed.
Unfortunately, the date that the authorities from the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries could come to our area was the Friday of Mathews Market Days. David Bryan, Marc Puckett and Galon Hall are worth hearing.
If you would like to have an opportunity to attend a future similar workshop or just share information and your experience with the quail in your area or participate in a somewhat coordinated Mathews plan, contact Beverly Holmberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. With a little know-how and working together, we can bring back the Bobwhite Quail to Gloucester and Mathews.
Ware Neck, Va.