MOre QuailMore posts

Have any of you been seeing baby quail, pheasant or turkeys?

Aug 02, 2011

Now is the time you should start seeing broods. I’ve personally seen two broods of quail and several turkey broods in northwest Missouri. Most of northern Missouri has seen fairly normal rainfall this spring and summer. This is a far cry from the last three to four years, where rainfall has been much higher than normal - especially during the critical nesting period of late May into July. These wet conditions have likely impacted quail numbers the last few years.

Our conservation agents will be out in full force conducting roadside counts of quail from Aug. 1-15 in 110 of Missouri’s 114 counties. Clay, Jackson, St. Louis, and St. Charles counties are not included because they are high-density urban areas near Kansas City and St. Louis. Surveyors count the number of quail observed while driving 20 miles per hour or slower along permanent 30-mile gravel road routes. Participants are instructed to conduct counts beginning at sunrise on clear, dewy mornings with light winds to increase chances that quail will be near roadsides.

These observations are used to provide an index of quail abundance across the landscape. Because only a small portion of each county is sampled, the index best represents quail population trends at large scales, including statewide and multi-county blocks such as the zoogeographic region. The statewide long-term trend of the index closely follows other statewide indices of abundance including the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Missouri quail harvest estimates. The roadside survey routes are located almost entirely through private land, so the quail index is a reflection of conditions on Missouri’s private lands.

Visit and search “quail and pheasant report” to view last year’s report and look for this year’s report to come out in mid-September.

Have any of you been seeing baby quail, pheasant or turkeys?


Photo of Newly Hatched Quail Chicks
Newly Hatched Quail Chicks
Good nesting habitat often produces successful nests.


I had my first confirmed successful hatch this year for the first time in 20 years when I flushed roughly 6 or so small birds and one adult male back around the last week of July on my farm in Greene county in SW MO. Then this past Friday I flushed a covey of roughly 12 birds that looked to be full grown. These birds were aprox. 400 yards from where I flushed the young birds back in July so I'm not sure if its the same covey. Hopefully not.

Daniel, it is possible. We know from reports in Texas and Oklahoma that birds incubating will dehydrate while on nests. In addition a prolonged drought like they are currently experiencing in Texas will drastically impact insect numbers on which the broods rely. This will in turn impact the survival of broods. Other than that I have not seen any other research on the effects of drought on bobwhite quail. Extreme heat like this appears to keep the calling at a minimum, which in turn could affect breeding of those pairs attempting to renest.I think what we experienced this year is pretty minor compared to what Texas is going through. The impact on quail here will be minor and certainly we have more to fear from a severe thunderstorm downpour in June and July when the majority of chicks are hatching. Thanks for the question, I have often wondered, too.

Bill do you think the prolonged dry and hot period we experienced had any effect on the eggs and chicks trying to be raised during that period?

Thanks everyone for your posts, it appears that a return to normal rainfall/drier conditions during the nesting and broodrearing season has boosted the number of broods of quail and turkeys this year. We are getting more reports of broods from staff and landowners this year than we have since around 2004......hopefully this is the start of a trend!!We are even getting reports of broods in south Missouri where they had record rainfall and flooding prior to the start of nesting season.

I saw two turkeys in the grass between Hwy 40 and the entrance to Hwy 40 at Mason Road this morning. Was kind of concerned for their safety.

Driving to work in Pike Co. I have seen two hens and eight small turkey crossing the road in front of me. This has happend two time.

Seeing nice numbers of young turkeys in Ste. Genevieve County. Up to 6 poults per hen in 3 different sightings.

My wife, kids, and I actually saw 2 different sets of baby turkeys (about 6 in each) on the 5th of July on our farm in wayne county

I recently spotted 3 turkey hens with a large brood (12-15) on my property in Morgan county

We have been seeing a lot of baby turkey. We live outside Daniel Boone Conservation Area in Jonesburg.

I saw a group of turkey crossing the road just this morning.

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