Food of the bobwhite
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): M. M. Nice
Publication Year: 1910

Cataloging Information

  • Colinus virginianus
  • fire dependent species
  • game birds
  • grasses
  • insects
  • seeds
  • weeds
  • wildlife food habits
  • wildlife habitat management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 46405
Tall Timbers Record Number: 22133
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


From the Summary ... 'The bobwhite is known to eat 129 different kinds of weed seeds.A single bird was found to eat as many as 12,000, 18,000 and 30,000 seeds of one kind of weed in a day.They eat 15 grams, or half an ounce, of weed seed daily throughout the winter.The known list of insects eaten -- 135 -- includes many of the most injurious species.A single bird ate at one meal 568 mosquitoes; another during a day ate 1,350 flies; a third ate 5,000 plant lice, while still another record is 1,532 insects, 1,000 of which were grasshoppers.Bobwhites eat from 12 to 24 grams of insects daily in the summer.In a study of the growth and feeding of one bobwhite, it was found that in his third week he ate half of his weight of insects, in his fourth week one third. In the sixth the addition of grain brought it up to one half again. When adult they eat from one twelfth to one sixth of their weight.An estimate of the average amount eaten by a bobwhite in a year is 2,732 grams, or about 5 pounds, of insects, and 4,681 grams, or about 9 3/4 pounds, of weed seeds, which are equivalent to 65,302 insects and 5,123,076 weed seeds.'

Nice, M. M. 1910. Food of the bobwhite. v. 8, no. 8, p. 295-313.