Surprise Visitors

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Bobwhites are generally considered wild birds, so imagine my surprise one day some years ago when one poked his nose into our yard, and then he and his wife came visiting. They were especially interested in the barn, which is where they were when I ran to get the camera.  They were quite tame, and poked around for awhile, then went on their way.

It turns out that the farmer next door, who has some chickens, also had been raising some bobwhites, hoping to release them back into the wild. They used to be common. Unfortunately commercial agricultural practices - spraying with poisons, mowing every bit of roadside grass, and plowing every bit of underbrush - have spoiled the habitat for bobwhites. As a final blow, Farmer Ron had a dozen birds all ready to take to a country stream and release the next day, when a raccoon got into the chicken house, tore open the box and killed them all. That was the end of my special visitors. Maybe we need to get some bobwhites, or at least some chickens!

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Mr. and Mrs. Bobwhite come visiting

The mulch makes a good place to find bugs to eat.

Bob and his wife check out the barn, but then are on their way to greener pastures.

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The scene 6 years later. The grass is gone - too hard to mow. Now two kinds of mint and lemon balm are growing around an American highbush cranberry. Violets surround the maple tree, and New England aster, wild white aster, and goldenrod have established themselves, and Lady Bells are blooming by the tree.

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To learn more about bobwhite quail visit this site.