Several Highland County landowners were recently recognized for “edging” their way into managing habitats for the bob-white quail. These landowners have been participating in an on-going habitat and research project according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.
Conservation partners – The Ohio State University, ODNR-Division of Wildlife, Pheasants(PF), Quail Forever (QF), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spent both time and money in Highland County to see what type of habitat quail prefer and then implementing programs to literally put that habitat on the ground.
Starting in 2008 phase one of the project involved OSU research students spending many hours in the field following radio-marked bob-white quail across farms to identify exactly what type of habitat the birds call home. Phase two, based on phase one findings, included cutting and leaving trees along the woodland edges of participating farms. This practice is referred to as “edge feathering.” The feathering creates brushy habitat. Quail in the vicinity of these brushy areas will periodically utilize them for protection, especially during the winter months.
The next phase of the project will expand upon the amount of grassland nesting habitat on the farms in the Highland County study area. Some of the landowners that have already been part of the research and edge feathering are preparing to plant native grass and flower mixtures. These plantings will create a flowery grassy edge providing the plant structure quail need for nest building and raising young. Landowners on participating farms will get funding assistance from the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the Edge Feathering project to implement grassland habitat restoration efforts.
Edge Feathering participants were recently recognized at a dinner held in their honor on July 24 at the Highland County Hi-tech Center. The conservation partners would like to thank all the participating landowners for their dedication to this ongoing project.
For more information about quail in Ohio and quail habitat management, visit wildohio.gov.