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State Birds of the US
State Symbols: State Birds

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Georgia State Game Bird

Bobwhite Quail (partridge)

State Symbol: Georgia State Game Bird: Bobwhite Quail

(Colinus virginianus)

Adopted on March 20, 1970.

In 1970, the bobwhite quail, genus (Colinus virginianus,) was chosen as the official State Game Bird of Geogia by a Joint Resolution of the Georgia General Assembly on March 20, 1970

Quail hunting in Georgia has long been popular with sportsmen around the world, and our state is often recognized as the "Quail Capital of the World." The quail can withstand a loss of two thirds of its population with no reduction in the spring breeding population.

The emphatic, whistled bob-white ringing from a grassy field or piney woods has long been a characteristic sound of summers in the Eastern countryside and is in fact the bobwhite quail is the state game bird of Missouri, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Georgia State Game Bird: Bobwhite Quail

State Symbol: Georgia State Game Bird: Bobwhite Quail

The bobwhite, also known as the partridge, is considered one of the finest game birds in the world. It is a short-tailed chunky brown bird, usually 8 to 10 inches long. The male has a white throat and a white stripe above the eye, while the female has a buffy throat and eye stripe. In spring the male's clearly whistled bob white is answered by the female's four-syllable whistle. This game bird lays from 10 to 20 pure white eggs, more than almost any other bird.

The bird is about 24 cm in length and is generally red-brown in appearance with black and tawny markings. The male has a white throat and eyebrow. The hen is similar in appearance, but her throat and eyebrow is buff and her overall color is somewhat lighter.

Characteristics of the Bobwhite

Food Habits

This bird eats seeds, fruits, grasses, grains, corn, acorns and insects. The diet consists primarily of seeds but also includes green leafy material, fruits and, invertebrates. Approximately 85% of the diet is vegetation and 15% animal matter. However, the relative quantity of each is seasonal (Ehrlich, et al 1988).

In early spring, leafy material is an important source of vitamins. Insects are important from spring until autumn; during these months they may constitute a quarter of the diet. Females consume more insects than males in response to elevated need for protein during egg laying. Fruits are also an important summer source of carbohydrates. Seeds and legumes constitute the majority of the bobwhite diet in fall and winter. Hatchlings are completely dependent on insects as a food source (Landers and Mueller 1986).

Call, Behavior

The bird gives a clear whistled bob-WHITE or poor-bob-WHITE call. Bobwhite Quail are sedentary. After the breeding season they live together in a covey of up to 30 individuals, huddling together at night and in cold weather. When danger threatens, the birds fly out in all directions, startling the would-be predator, who often catches none of the quail.

Habitat

Woodlands, open country with brush and weeds, grasslands, croplands and roadsides.

Life Cycle

State Symbol: Georgia State Game Bird: Bobwhite Quail

The breeding season begins in mid-April, peaks in May and June, and extends into September. Found in the grass, the nest is a depression lined with fine grass. The female usually lays 12-16 eggs (range, 6-28). Both adults incubate the eggs for 23-24 days, and care for the precocial young for 6-7 days after they hatch. The young are able to capture food themselves after approximately 7 days. The family group stays together with the covey, a group of 2 or more families of Bobwhite.

Natural Distribution

The Bobwhite Quail is native to northern and central America from southern Ontario in south-eastern Canada, central and eastern USA to eastern Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba and the Isle of Pines.

The quail is thought to be locally common and was once a popular game bird in the southern states of the USA, but numbers and range have been reduced by agriculture. Fortunately, bobwhite quail do not move much and are very adaptable. This has allowed landowners to effectively manage the birds on relatively small tracts of land

Joint Resolution of the Georgia General Assembly

In 1970, the bobwhite quail was chosen as the official state game bird by a Joint Resolution of the Georgia General Assembly on March 20, 1970.

March 20, 1970
BROWN THRASHER OFFICIAL STATE BIRD - BOBWHITE QUAIL OFFICIAL STATE GAME BIRD.
No. 128 (House Resolution No. 694-1436).

A Resolution.

Designating the Brown Thrasher as the official Georgia State Bird and the bobwhite Quail as the official Georgia State Game Bird; and for other purposes.

Whereas, the Attorney General of Georgia has ruled in an official opinion that Georgia does not have an official State Bird; and

Whereas, hitherto, the General Assembly of Georgia has made no such selection; and

Whereas, since countless Georgians have always considered the Brown Thrasher as the official Georgia State Bird it is only fitting and proper that the Brown thrasher be given the recognition it is due; and

Whereas, the familiar "bob-bob-white" whistle of the Bobwhite Quail has charmed Georgians, and accompanied them in their work and play since the state was merely a territory occupied by British colonists in 1733; and

Whereas , thousands of Georgia sportsmen annually trek to the fields to bag their limit of the Bobwhite Quail; this marvelous bird can withstand a loss of two-thirds of its population with no reduction in the spring breeding population, thus providing the Georgia huntsmen with continued exciting sport; and

Whereas, Georgia has long been hailed as the "Quail Capitol [sic] of the World", and it seems to be only fitting and proper that the Bobwhite Quail (of the genus colinis) be given the recognition it is due.

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the General Assembly of Georgia at the suggestion and request of the Garden Clubs of Georgia that the Brown Thrasher is hereby designated as the official Georgia State Bird.

Be it further resolved that the Bobwhite Quail is hereby designated as the official Georgia State Game Bird.

Be it further resolved that the Clerk of the House of Representatives is hereby authorized and directed to forward an appropriate copy of this Resolution to the Secretary of State.

Approved March 20, 1970.
Source: Ga. Laws 1970, pp. 418-19.

Georgia Code

The law designating the bobwhite quail as the official Georgia state game bird is Section 50-3-51 of the Georgia Code Title 50 (STATE GOVERNMENT) Chapter 3 SECTION 50-3-51.

TITLE 50. STATE GOVERNMENT.
CHAPTER 3. STATE FLAG, SEAL, AND OTHER SYMBOLS
SECTION 50-3-51.

50-3-51.
The bobwhite quail is designated as the official Georgia state game bird.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Bobwhite Quail

Kingdom: Animalia - animals
    Phylum: Chordata - chordates
Subphylum: Vertebrata - vertebrates
Class: Aves - birds
Order: Galliformes
Family: Odontophoridae
Genus: Colinus
Species: Colinus virginianus

Official State Birds
US map : Birds & Flowers
State Bird:  Bird selected (by the legislature) as an emblem of a State.
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