Building a habitat for quail

CARRIE MORROW
Assistant Resource Manager

Metro Parks Resource Management volunteers plant a tree in the hunting area at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park as part of a quail habitat improvement project. | A Resource Management team member walks through some of the assembled trees awaiting planting. Photos, Carrie Morrow

Metro Parks natural resource management staff were joined by their volunteers to plant 100 native trees and shrubs in the wildlife area of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park last month. This is a continuing effort to improve and increase suitable habitat for the beloved Northern Bobwhite (quail). We have been surrogating quail into the wildlife area for the past two years. We are hopeful that we will begin seeing recruitment and reproductive success in the near future.

Metro Parks Resource Management volunteers plant trees in the hunting area at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. The scrub-shrub habitat is ideal for quail. Photo, Carrie Morrow

This reintroduction of Northern Bobwhite was initiated at Slate Run Metro Park. We have been surrogating quail in several areas of Slate Run since 2012. Visitors can now see naturally reproducing quail at Slate Run and over time, we expect the same success at Battelle Darby Creek. The habitat restoration efforts for quail benefit a great diversity of mid-successional occurring native wildlife. These “scrub-shrub” habitats may look unkempt and “weedy,” however it is one of the most declining and beneficial habitats in our region.

Metro Parks Resource Management volunteers. Photo Carrie Morrow

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