MOre QuailMore posts

Calling "Quiet Quail"

Aug 10, 2011

I have a friend who calls quail. He doesn't use a phone or other fancy electronics. He mimics the fall covey call, or, as I like to say, their “come-hither” call. Click the audio tab on this page to listen to the "come-hither" quail call.

Quiet Quail Can Sneak Up on You

Often quail are present and we just don't know it because they are not calling. Several years ago, I was trapping wild quail for a radio-collar study. On a very early June morning, I had just set up my electronic caller to play the “come-hither” call in an attempt to call birds into the trap. I turned on the caller and backed up a few feet to make sure everything looked right, and I saw something out of the corner of my eye. When I turned to look, there was nothing. I looked back toward my trap and there it was again, out of the corner of my eye. Again, I turned and saw nothing.

The next thing I remember I was jumping back out of the way of a male quail headed straight for my electronic “come-hither” quail. Realizing the bird was bound to crash into my face, I ducked and fell backwards. Each time I looked up, the quail settled into the weeds. When I looked away, he flew up again. Evidently, he had thought my “come-hither” call was a lonely hen and had come down the hill toward me in short, hopping flights through the weeds.

Think You Don’t Have Quail? Give Them Your “Come-Hither” Call

What really intrigued me about this incident is that I had no idea I even had quail on the place, let alone in that field. All spring long there were no familiar “bob-white” quail calls from that field. That morning, quail were calling about one-half mile away, but not in the field where this bird came from.

Now back to my friend. Over the years I have learned how common it is to have “quiet” quail. My friend reminded me of that several times this summer. When giving me a tour of his farm, we would stop and he would imitate the “come-hither” call. Sometimes a quail would answer back. A few times a quail would actually fly right toward us, realizing at the last second that we were not quite what he was looking for! We would not have known about these birds presence if my friend could not say “come hither” in quail speak.

Did you listen to the quail-call audio yet? Try to imitate it the next time you are out in quail country. It works best during the quail-breeding season, but I have also used it in the fall and got answers back from other quail wanting to come hither. Let me know if you have success finding "quiet quail"!

23_05-2011.jpg

bobwhite quail
Bobwhite Quail In Cover

Recent Posts

Blue-winged Teal In Flight

Testing the Waters

Sep 09, 2016

Have you ever been interested in duck hunting, but the idea of weathering the cold has kept you from taking that extra step out into the marsh?  Or perhaps you do duck hunt, but have that friend who tried it once, had leaky waders in the dead of winter, and swore he or she would never go back.  Well, it just so happens ... 

bumblebee

Busy Bees

Sep 05, 2016

Their sight and sound might bring panic at a picnic, but our need for bees is crucial.

Closeup of yellow garden spider on web

The Itsy-Bitsy Garden Spider

Aug 29, 2016

It’s a shame that little Miss Muffett was too frightened to meet the spider that sat down beside her. She would have discovered that spiders are exceptional creatures.