Masked Bobwhite

ANIMAL:
Masked Bobwhite Colinus ridgwayi

Type of Animal:
Gamebird

Habitat:
Plains, savanna, desert/semidesert grassland, pastures, semiarid grassland, desert/semidesert scrub, subtropical/tropical grassland, farm fields, agricultural fields, farmland, thornscrub, grass-forb habitats along drainages, semidesert savanna, mesas, weedy bajios (lowland depressions), weedy bottomlands, grassy valleys, herb-strewn valleys, river valleys, areas w/ grass-weed cover, found as high as 4,000 ft

Location(s):
S Arizona, Mexican states of Sonora, Oaxaca, & Chiapas, parts of Guatemala

Appearance:
Males have cinnamon breast, black head/throat, varying amount of white above eye, brownish wings, females mottled-brown above, buff head, whitish breast, males darker than females, short plump birds, females drabber

Food/Diet:
Seeds, grains, forbs, plant matter, insects, leaves, buds, berries, roots, acorns, snails, spiders, ticks, legumes, fruit, flowers

Status in Wild:
Endangered

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers. Sutton Center founded in 1983 near Bartlesville, Oklahoma became involved in establishing breeding population in 1996 to reintroduce them to Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge on Arizona-Mexico border. Over 1,000 birds have been reintroduced. Doing better in Mexico than in US. Reintroductions in Sonora as well. Sometimes refuge-raised chicks returned to wild after being fostered by sterilized male Northern Bobwhites.

Lifestyle:
Coveys number 7-20 birds

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Covey

Weight:
Male: 5.95 oz
Female: 5.74 oz

Gestation:
23 days 

Life Span:
2-3 years in wild, 7-9 years in captivity

Height:
Male: 10.5 in
Female: 8.5 in

Body Length:
Male: 10.5 in
Female: 8.5 in

Tail Length:
Male: 2.5 in
Female: 2 in

Main predators of adults are raptors, snakes, bobcats, cats, foxes, coyotes, procyonids, skunks, opossums, heloderm lizards, & pigs. Roadrunners eat chicks.
 
Endangered due to drought, livestock overgrazing, reduced plant diversity, habitat fragmentation, habitat degradation, lack of fire, spread of exotic grasses, & climate change.
 
Females lay clutches of 5-20 eggs, often producing up to 3 broods a year.
 
Utilize patches of vegetation to protect themselves from predators & high temperatures.
 
Chicks highly precocial, leaving nest on 1st day. Capable of 1st flight by 2 weeks. Gain adult plumage by 3 months.
 
Sexually mature at 6 months old.
 
Nests constructed on ground w/ bowl-shaped depressions in native grasses well-concealed & lined w/ dead grass.
 
Spend most of their time on the ground, only flying short distances.

Fun Fact(s):
Can go without food for quite a while due to being able to store food in crop.
 
Parents sometimes feign wing injuries to discourage predators.
 
Called Bobwhites due to courtship call of male.

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