The Northern Bobwhite is named after its familiar
bob-white call. They are the only quail native to the eastern
United States. Managed as a game bird in many states, Northern
Bobwhites are at the very northern end of their range in South Dakota, and
populations are susceptible to harsh winters. Note the female Bobwhite
photos at the bottom of the page are female "Masked Bobwhites", a subspecies of
Bobwhite found in the southwestern United States.
be found in a variety of semi-open habitats, including farmland, roadside
ditches, woodland edges, and brushy meadows.
Diet: A wide variety of items, including with seeds and insects
making up the majority of the diet. Will also feed on berries, acorns,
leaves, buds, roots, and snails.
Behavior: Nearly always forages on the ground,
although they will occasionally move into low shrubs and vegetation.
Primarily found in coveys except during breeding season, when lone birds or
family groups may be found.
Nesting: June and July
resident throughout its entire range.
Similar Species: Generally distinctive
compared to species normally found in South Dakota.
Feeders: Will occasionally attend for various
seeds scattered on the ground.
Conservation Status: A general decline has been noted in recent decades, probably due to habitat
loss and changes in agricultural field management. Populations at the
northern end of its range are routinely decimated by harsh winters, including
those found in South Dakota. The Masked Bobwhite, mentioned above, is rare
in its U.S. range.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Northern Bobwhite"
Photo Information: October 13th, 2008 - Beaver
Creek Nature Area near Brandon, South Dakota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Northern Bobwhite photos.