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Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? #7683356 12/08/19 03:25 PM
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I thought I'd throw this out there and get y'alls thoughts. Many years ago I was in a dinner having breakfast after a deer hunt on my lease N. of Bowie. Quite a few local ranchers were sitting at a table talking about how the quail population has steadily declined over the past several decades. Of course, one of the ranchers mentioned they would always shoot hawks when he was a child and attributed the decline in quail since shooting hawks was outlawed. Some agreed but another rancher said he noticed quail population decrease as armadillo numbers increased. Some of the ranchers laughed until he explained that armadillos eat the quail eggs.

This makes sense to me, what do y'all think?


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Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7683388 12/08/19 04:09 PM
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I think it makes perfect sense, but quail have more challenges than most other birds. Being ground nesters they are susceptible to many more predators than birds that nest in trees and shrubs. They have a lot working against them including the weather, parasites and predators. Who doesn't like eggs?

Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7683461 12/08/19 05:58 PM
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They're not designed for it and their teeth certainly aren't designed for it but I've seen deer eat baby birds so you never know.


Yes! A Weatherby does kill them deader.
Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7683533 12/08/19 07:24 PM
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We used to have tons of both, so I’m not believing this without a lot more information.

In my opinion, Fire ants and feral cats have done a lot more harm to quail.

Last edited by QuitShootinYoungBucks; 12/08/19 07:25 PM.

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Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7683695 12/08/19 11:12 PM
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Sounds like BS that Armadillos are the problem with lack of Quail.

Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7683717 12/08/19 11:35 PM
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I think every animal likes quail or quail eggs. It is amazing that they can exist at all.


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Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7684640 12/09/19 11:55 PM
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I think Quail are the Krill of the land....

Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7684656 12/10/19 12:05 AM
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The decline started about the time fire ants arrived.
I used to see/hear bobwhites every time I was outside.
I haven't seen or heard one here in 10+ years but there are freeking fireant mounds every 40 feet.


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Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7684664 12/10/19 12:13 AM
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Extinction is a natural part of evaluation. I see less meadowlarks, killdeers, rabbits, and even armadillos.


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7684673 12/10/19 12:25 AM
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An armadillos diet can differ from species to species. Armadillos are omnivores meaning they eat a meat and plant based diet. This diet consists mostly of insects like worms and ants. However ants are their favorite and are often easy for the creature to catch as they mostly dig in soft grounds near rivers or trees in search of the bugs.

Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: fishdfly] #7684687 12/10/19 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by fishdfly
An armadillos diet can differ from species to species. Armadillos are omnivores meaning they eat a meat and plant based diet. This diet consists mostly of insects like worms and ants. However ants are their favorite and are often easy for the creature to catch as they mostly dig in soft grounds near rivers or trees in search of the bugs.



And in my flower bed.


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Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Simple Searcher] #7684705 12/10/19 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Simple Searcher
I think every animal likes quail or quail eggs. It is amazing that they can exist at all.


Skunks, possums, ring-tails, raccoons, fox, bobcat coyote's, they all prey on quail, then we have about a dozen birds that will also. They run a gauntlet of predators just to live a few years.


Yes! A Weatherby does kill them deader.
Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7684727 12/10/19 01:22 AM
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Our quail population started to decline about a year after the boll weevil eradication program started. We had cotton fields on 2 sides of us. The bug population also went down, when the spraying quit, the yellow jackets came back with a vengeance, those suckers are almost immune to current pesticides. Now that they have quit spraying in our area the quail are slowly making a comeback, but it is areal slow comeback.


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Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7685991 12/11/19 01:31 PM
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People don't shoot predators at the rate that they did when I was a kid. Every pickup truck in Texas had a gun in the gun rack, all the time, for a reason.

And every living thing out there loves Mr. Bob for dinner.

Latest info that I've read is putting the focus on eye worms, a parasite that enters their system through insects that they eat and will eventually blind the birds.

Of course number one is the importance of timely rain.


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Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7686287 12/11/19 06:24 PM
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Skunks, possums, ring-tails, raccoons, fox, bobcat coyote's, they all prey on quail, then we have about a dozen birds that will also. They run a gauntlet of predators just to live a few years. well put, sir


Armadillos may destroy an egg or two but they are not actively hunting eggs as they root around, No more than Roadrunners killing all the chicks. Yes hawks may eat a few, but that is nature, nobody screaming about them eating mice & rat's. HYW_man mentioned deer eating chicks, that has been documented as less than .0001 of deer diet, are we doing jihad deer next or the cow that steps on a nest. I am really surprised cattle do not trample more nest than they do. Quail are not a strong species on the landscape and need many of the stars to line up for a good year. Thus bird a bird that is effected by many things pesticides, rainfall,predators, dieses and grazing. It is bound to have many poor year of success; if populations numbers are measured in hunt able numbers as success . Good years we kill the extra birds, it tough to keep doing this year after year. Many folks thought this was going to be a good year and many have been wrong, it showed production signs early. Poof nature changed it's mind.

There is bird data that suggest that near 3 Billion birds have been lost with a huge impact on grasslands birds. Do not armadillos do that great impact on ground nesters. Grassland bird populations collectively have declined by 53%, or another 720 million birds since 1970. I have my bias in that feral cats and dogs are land sharks, in the way they eat everything. but can say they impact bobwhites to the part if decline.

lost of 2.9 billion birds.
https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/bring-birds-back
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/vanishing-1-in-4-birds-gone/

Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7686413 12/11/19 08:46 PM
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When I was a kid there were quail here in Bell county I haven't seen 1 in years
They say fire ants was a the big problem

Re: Armadillos Depleting Quail Population? [Re: Big Fitz] #7686592 12/12/19 01:25 AM
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Anything that competes with me for the bird needs to die. Hawks are beautiful and I had one for a pet when I was a kid. If you think they don’t hurt Quail population you’re wrong. I’ve seen them land in a tree when a deer feeder went off just to pick off the bird that came in. They’ll do it every day if you let them keep it up until there’s none left. I think feral and bobcats are even worse. I believe the climate change in west Texas is the main factor with the rain coming at the wrong time. Amistad being built has changed the rainfall in west Tx. The country doesn’t even look the same as it did back in the day. There are a lot of factors including the eyeworm and disease killing my favorite pastime. Just do what you can to control predation and sit back and watch our bird be something that we used to enjoy in Texas. I don’t think my kids will have bird dogs when they’re in there 30’s. I jumped back in to bird hunting after 10 years in 2015. It was great for a few years but it’s starting to look like the dogs are not worth taking care of anymore. I may get back to two French Brittany’s and just take a few road trips every year. I’m leaving in the morning for a west Texas blue quail trip on a ranch I grew up hunting. Fingers are crossed. I don’t think armadillos are hurting the quail population, but I’ll add them to my list. It is entertaining to watch a dog try to pull one out of a hole though.

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