Western Navarro Bobwhite Restoration Initative

Key Plants

Generally speaking, ideal bobwhite habitat will have all of the elements needed to meet the daily and seasonal requirements of the birds. To be more specific, a good habitat should meet the following criteria:

Little Bluestem Contains an ample amount of native bunch grasses (ie. bluestems, indiangrass, sideoats grama)for nesting
  • At least 300 plate sized clumps per acre
  • Western ragweed A diverse mixture of forbs (weeds) to provide seed and attract insects for growing chicks.

  • 25-75% of the overall herbaceous cover should contain forbs (weeds)
  • Forbs can be intermixed with native grasses, or concentrated to disturbed areas adjacent to good nesting habitat
  • bobwhite_quail_habitat.jpg - 19507 Bytes Enough open ground to walk through with little difficulty.

  • 25-75% bare ground, or ground with a light covering of dead plant material.
  • Bobwhite & Woody plants Scattered patches of low growing woody brush for protection from predators and harsh weather conditions

  • Woody cover in the form of low growing brush, briars, or constructed brush piles should account for about 5 to 20% of the overall vegetative cover
  • As a rule of thumb, brush patches should be 10-30ft in diameter and be situated no more than 30 yards apart

  • For an excellent resource and photos, please visit: Noble Foundation's Plant Image Gallery.

    Grasses
    Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
    Silver bluestem (Bothriochloa sacchariodes)
    Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
    Broomsedge bluestem (Andropogon virginicus)
    Yellow Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)
    Side-oats grama (Bouteloua curtipemdula)
    Panicum (Panicum spp.)
    Paspalum (Paspalum spp.)
    Dichanthelium (Dichanthelium spp.)
    Bristlegrass (Setaria spp.)
    Green Spangletop (Leptochloa dubia)
    Dropseed (Sporobolus spp.)
    Barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crusgalli)
    Goosegrass (Eleusine indica)

    Forbs
    Common and Western ragweed (Ambrosia spp)
    * Highly preferred quail food.
    Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)
    * Highly preferred quail food.
    Illinois bundleflower (Desmathus illinoensis)
    * Highly preferred quail food.
    Woolly croton (Croton capitatus)
    * Highly preferred quail food.
    Snow-on-the-prairie (Euphorbia bicolor)
    * Highly preferred quail food.
    Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.)
    * Highly preferred quail food.
    Pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus)
    * Highly preferred quail food.
    Pokeberry (Phytolacca Americana)
    Chickweed (Stellaria media)
    Beggarweeds and tick clovers (Desmodium spp.)
    Lespedezas (Lespedeza spp.)
    Trailing wild bean (Strophosyles umbellata)
    Wild geranium (Geranium carolinianum)
    Smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum)
    Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album)
    Dayflower (Commelina erecta)

    Woody vines
    Butterfly pea (Centrosema virginianum)
    Dewberry and blackberry’s (Rubus spp.)
    Greenbriars (Smilax spp.)
    Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
    Muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia)
    Mustang grape (Vitis mustangensis)
    Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

    Shrubs
    Sand plum (Prunus angustifolia)
    *Grows in dense thickets that provide optimal cover for escaping predators, loafing, and thermal protection during all seasons.
    Hog plum (Prunus Umbellata)
    Flame-leaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata)
    *Grows in dense thickets that provide good cover for loafing, and thermal protection during summer.
    Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica)
    *Grows in dense thickets that provide good cover for loafing, and thermal protection during summer.
    Gum Bumelia (Bumelia lanuginosa)
    Hawthorns (Cretaegus spp.)
    Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)
    *Grows in dense thickets that provide good cover for loafing, and thermal protection during summer.

    Trees
    Oaks (Quercus spp.)
    *Mast (acorns), and thermal protection.
    Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
    *Seed, and thermal protection.
    Hackberry (Celtis leavagata)
    *Fruit/seed, and thermal protection.
    Pine (Pinus spp.)
    *Seed, and thermal protection.
    Ash (Fraxinus spp.)
    *Seed, and thermal protection.
    Black cherry (Prunus serotina)
    *Fruit/seed, and thermal protection.
    Dogwoods (Cornus spp.)
    *Fruit/seed, and thermal protection.