Comparison of northern bobwhite chick fecal and crop analyses
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): K. Utz; J. P. Carroll; S. J. Moreby
Editor(s): S. J. DeMaso; William P. Kuvlesky; Fidel Hernandez; M. E. Berger
Publication Year: 2002

Cataloging Information

  • agriculture
  • brood habitat
  • chicks
  • Coleoptera
  • Colinus
  • Colinus virginianus
  • Colinus virginianus
  • conservation
  • cover
  • croplands
  • fecal analysis
  • fire dependent species
  • forage
  • game birds
  • Georgia
  • Georgia
  • habits and behavior
  • histories
  • Homoptera
  • hymenoptera
  • insects
  • northern bobwhite
  • pine hardwood forests
  • Pinus taeda
  • Texas
  • United Kingdom
  • wildlife
  • wildlife food habits
  • wildlife habitat management
  • wildlife management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 46505
Tall Timbers Record Number: 22255
TTRS Location Status: In-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.


Impacts of modern agriculture on gamebird brood ecology have been studied in a number of species. One common factor cited has been the decline in available invertebrate food available to foraging chicks. In the United Kingdom, assessment of chick diet has been accomplished mainly through fecal analysis of wild chicks, whereas in North America crop analysis of human-imprinted chicks has become a commonly applied technique. We compared results of both techniques on groups of human-imprinted northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) chicks to determine if these different techniques provide similar results. Chicks were allowed to forage in groups of 6-8 in cotton fields with various cover crops. We euthanized half the chicks for crop analysis and isolated the other half of the chicks for 12 hours to collect feces. We found a positive relationship between total number of invertebrates/chick in crops and feces (P = 0.01, R2 = 0.51). However, among important chick-food Orders the relationship varied greatly: Coleoptera (P = 0.10, R2 = 0.34),. Homoptera (P < 0.001, R2 = 0.41), and Hymenoptera (P = 0.81, R2 = 0.05). Our rresults suggest that there is a positive relationship between the 2 techniques, but that composition of the diet relative to what foods might be available in a particular site could be biased. We suggest more detailed research on technique development and standardization of techniques for assessing this important component of bobwhite life history. © 2002, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Utz, K., J. P. Carroll, and S. J. Moreby. 2002. Comparison of northern bobwhite chick fecal and crop analyses, in DeMaso, S. J., Kuvlesky, W. P., Hernandez, F., and Berger, M. E., Quail V: Proceedings of the Fifth National Quail Symposium. Corpus Christi, TX. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,Austin, TX. p. 225-228,